COA audit is part of normal procedure -- DOH | Inquirer News

COA audit is part of normal procedure — DOH

/ 04:16 PM August 14, 2021

DOH COA report

Facade of the DOH main office in Manila. file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said the observations of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the agency’s expenditures — including deficiencies in the management of its P67.32 billion COVID-19 funds — form part of normal procedure.

In a statement on Saturday, DOH said the COA provides time for departments being audited to answer observations and implement recommendations — concerns that it said would be addressed next week.


“Laman po ngayon ng mga balita ang 2020 Consolidated Annual Audit Report ng [COA] na naglalahad ng mga obserbasyon at rekomendasyon sa paggamit ng pondo ng kagawaran.  Nililinaw po namin na ang paunang ulat na ito ay parte ng normal na pagsusuri ng COA at naglalahad ng mga rekomendasyon na kailangang gawin ng kagawaran,” DOH said.


“Hindi na po natin hihintayin ang September 27 deadline na ibinigay sa atin, tayo po ay magsusumite sa susunod na linggo.  Makakaasa po kayo na sa mga susunod na araw ay mabibigyang linaw ang mga report na ito,” it added.

DOH is receiving flak after the COA’s audit report of the agency for 2020 found deficiencies in the way the P67.32 billion funds to fight the pandemic was managed, adding that it contributed to challenges that the country faced during the crisis.

The deficiencies are caused by non-compliance with pertinent laws and regulations, leading to missed opportunities for the department primarily tasked with managing the health crisis.

Vice President Leni Robredo, some senators, and other opposition figures have condemned the DOH for mismanaging its budget, especially during this time when the country is looking for ways to fund the COVID-19 response.

READ: ‘Sayang’: Robredo questions DOH’s unused funds amid small ‘ayuda’, unpaid health workers

READ: Senators dismayed over DOH ‘incompetence’ in use of COVID-19 funds


DOH said it is ready to answer questions on its expenditures.

“Handa po ang inyong Kagawaran ng Kalusugan na sagutin at ipaliwanag ang mga katanungan tungkol sa report na ito.  Ang mga opisyal po ng Kagawaran ay kasalukuyang nakatutok upang isumite ang mga dokumentong kailangan ng COA sa lalong madaling panahon,” DOH said.

“Kaisa kami ng COA sa pagsasaayos ng ating mga proseso upang lubos na mapabuti ang serbisyong hatid sa ating mga kababayan.  Kaisa niyo kaming lahat sa pagsulong ng isang tapat, maaasahan, at mahusay na paglilingkod sa bayan,” it added.

The time frame that DOH was referring to is a period that COA gives every agency being audited to comply with its recommendations.  In DOH’s case, a list of recommendations to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was attached in the audit report, which COA said should be implemented to avoid similar issues in the future.

The recommendations centered on reminding and directing unit heads to act urgently in utilizing funds allocated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, while instructing the administration and financial team to closely coordinate and “conduct regular/periodic assessment” on the utilization of COVID-19 funds.

Duque was also asked to conduct investigations on irregularities with the COVID-19 funds.

Other similar recommendations were made by COA on the following issues:

  • lapses in the handling of petty cash fund
  • management of fund transfers
  • implementation of financial assistance programs
  • payment of COVID-19 allowances
  • unauthorized grant of meal allowances
  • incomplete documentation for death and sickness compensation
  • failure to prepare required documentation for COVID-19 related donations
  • lapses in the management of IRM funds

Prior to the COA report, DOH was already facing several issues in terms of funding, as corruption issues within the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) were revealed by a former anti-corruption officer.

During a Senate investigation, it was shown that PhilHealth made around P14 billion worth of interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM) payments to healthcare institutions that are not handling COVID-19 cases, like dialysis centers and maternity clinics.

The IRM is a system created to fund fortuitous events or unforeseen events.

READ: Lacson: PhilHealth’s over P14B IRM payments mean 600 plus counts of malversation

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

READ: Rectifying not enough, PhilHealth officials must be held criminally liable – Lacson


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

TAGS: COA, COVID-19, DoH, Philippine news updates

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.