Binay says ‘high time’ to review COA’s audit system
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay believes it is high time to review the audit system of the Commission on Audit (COA), adding that she “understands” President Rodrigo Duterte’s reactions to the agency’s reports.
“Siguro I can understand where the President is coming from. Alam naman natin ‘yung pinagdaanan ng pamilya ko di ba? (We know what my family went through) ‘Yung how the COA audit was used against us to ruin my family,” Binay told ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart on Friday.
“For me, I think it’s high time for us to review ‘yung (the) system being used by COA dahil meron naman talaga silang audit findings na hindi na timely (because they have audit findings that are not timely). It does not go with the times anymore,” Binay added.
Binay’s father is former vice president Jejomar Binay who was also the subject of COA audit reports on the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall parking building when he was still the mayor of Makati City.
For the senator, there are digital ways of procurement that have not been incorporated into COA’s auditing system.
“Katulad ngayon diba, alam naman natin that we are shifting to the digital. Hindi pa ata nila na-i-incorporate ‘yun, ‘yung for example pagbili mo ng tickets, ‘yung air tickets na ginagamit ng different offices, you can’t do it online pero alam naman natin na very common na ngayon na you can do online booking. But hindi pa siya nagiging bahagi as part of procurement, ‘yung online system,” she explained.
(We are shifting to the digital. It seems they have not incorporated that. For example, when you buy air tickets for different offices, you can’t do it online although it is very common now to do online booking. But the online system is not yet part of procurement.)
“So there is really a need to update COA. Kasi medyo totoo naman din na nadedelay talaga ‘yung procurement. For example, by the time na makabili ka ng computer at maayos ‘yung papel, wala na, ubos na ‘yung stock or outdated na ‘yung bibilhin mo because of COA rules,” she noted.
(So there is really a need to update COA. Because it is true that sometimes procurement is really delayed. For example, by the time you buy a computer and the documents are fixed, there is no more stock or the equipment you will buy is already outdated because of COA rules.)
On Thursday, Duterte, in his latest tirade against COA, promised to audit the commission and other government agencies should he be elected as vice president in 2022.
Duterte had previously said that COA should stop flagging government transactions and publishing its report as they would taint agencies with “corruption by perception.”
The President made the remarks after COA found deficiencies, caused by non-compliance with pertinent laws and regulations, on how the Department of Health managed its P67.32-billion fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.