PNP: Unspent anti-insurgency funds not an anomaly
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) admitted Thursday that most of its share of the funding as a member agency of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) for 2020 remains unspent, but assured that there is no anomaly involved.
This came after a Commission on Audit (COA) report where it revealed that the PNP only spent P86.568 million (around 12 percent) of its P722.95 million anti-insurgency funds for 2020.
“Hindi kapabayaan at lalong hindi anomalya ang dahilan kung bakit hindi masyadong nagastos ang inilaang NTF-ELCAC Fund para sa PNP noong 2020,” said PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar in a statement.
(It is not negligence and especially not an anomaly why the NTF-ELCAC Fund allocated for the PNP in 2020 was not spent much.)
“Dahil sa pandemya, na-i-release lamang ang pondong umaabot sa kabuuang P722.955 million sa PNP noong Oktubre 26, 2020 at hindi pa ito puwedeng gastusin lahat sa natitirang dalawang buwan ng 2020 dahil sa mahigpit na alituntunin ng batas sa paggastos ng pondo ng taumbayan,” he added.
(Due to the pandemic, funds amounting to a total of P722.955 million were only released to the PNP on October 26, 2020, and we cannot spend all of it in the remaining two months of 2020 due to the strict rules of the law on spending the funds of the people.)
Eleazar added that according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the NTF-ELCAC Fund is considered a “continuing appropriation,” which means the PNP has until December 31, 2021, to spend it.
“Makakaasa ang ating mga kababayan na sa aking pamumuno, wala ni isang sentimo sa pondong ito ang mawawala sa korapsyon dahil ito ay buwis ng taumbayan na dapat pangalagaan at hindi pag-interesan,” assured Eleazar.
(Our countrymen can trust that not a single cent of this fund will be lost to corruption under my leadership because it is a tax of the people that must be protected and disregarded.)
The PNP chief, however, acknowledged the other issues pointed out by COA such as the Bicol Police Regional Office procurement of P6.667 million worth of “goods through shopping,” which were not supported with required documents; and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Police alleged failure to obligate its P40 million NTF-Elcac funds due to “non-preparation of project activities.”
“We have acknowledged these findings. We will treat these as lessons learned upang hindi na rin maulit sa mga susunod na budget allocation and utilization (so that it will not be repeated in the next budget allocation and utilization),” said Eleazar.
“Titingnan natin kung may naging pagkukulang ang ating kapulisan dito (we will see if our police had shortcomings),” he added.
He also vowed that the organization would always observe transparency in the utilization of its budget.
“We want to assure not just the COA but the general public that we are transparent on how funds being allocated to the organization are being utilized and that expenses are well-accounted,” he said.
“Pera ito ng bawat Pilipino kaya’t nararapat lamang na gamitin at i-account ito ng tama,” he added.
(This is the money of every Filipino so it should be used and accounted for correctly.)
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