OWWA deputy administrator stands by COA-flagged expenditures — official
MANILA, Philippines — The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) deputy administrator who oversees the expenditures that the Commission on Audit (COA) deemed to be “doubtful” has “stood by the purchases,” an official said on Thursday.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that Deputy Administrator Faustino Sabarez III stands by the purchase of sanitary napkins and hygiene kits from a construction and trading company with a non-existing address, and purchasing snacks in a city that is not the home of OWWA.
The COA questioned the expenditures of Sabarez worth P1.269 million and most especially the purchase of hygiene kits, sanitary napkins, and thermal scanners worth P969,920, which were purchased from MRCJP Construction and Trading instead of a drug store. COA also said the auditors could not find the establishment.
“His response is that he stands by the purchase of hygiene kits,” Cacdac said over CNN Philippines when asked if he brought the matter up to Sabarez.
“But of course the matter on whether the hardware store really exists and as to why he invoked that particular hardware store in the liquidation process is something that he needs to explain at the COA submission process,” Cacdac explained.
It was also noted that the same official ordered P300,000 worth of snack items and bottled water from a caterer from Quezon City’s Barangay Old Balara, but these items are readily available in several supermarkets and hypermarkets in Pasay.
Cacdac, however, said that Sabarez stood by his purchase of certain supplies in various parts of the city: “He did all the best that he could to gather all the supplies from the different parts of the city.”
Despite the issues, Cacdac noted that COA “commended” OWWA for “99.9 percent of the time.”
“99.9 percent of the time, we had hurdled the audit, our people were commended in fact — that’s the word used in the audit report — for the proper handling of the financial system and documents,” he pointed out.
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