COA: We have no power to audit Red Cross
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) said Friday it has no jurisdiction to audit the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as the latter is a non-government humanitarian organization.
COA chairperson Michael Aguinaldo made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte called on COA to conduct an audit of the PRC as he accused its chairman, Senator Richard Gordon, of using the humanitarian organization’s funds for his previous election campaigns.
“We do not have jurisdiction to audit the organization, yung Philippine National Red Cross,” Aguinaldo said during the deliberations on the proposed 2022 budget of the COA at the House of Representatives.
“The only thing we can audit are payments made by PhilHealth to the Red Cross but in that case what we’re auditing actually is PhilHealth in making those payments,” he added.
Under its mandate, the COA can only examine and audit government agencies and bodies.
In fresh tirades on Thursday night, Duterte accused Gordon of using Red Cross’s funds in his previous election campaigns.
“Ginamit mo ito sa elections. Ito ‘yung milking cow mo eh [You use it for the elections. This is your milking cow],” Duterte said.
However, in accordance with Republic Act 10072, the Philippines Red Cross must present its financial statements each year to the President, who is also PRC’s honorary president.
Section 7-g of the Act says “the Philippine Red Cross shall, at the end of every calendar year, submit to the President of the Philippines an annual report containing its activities and showing its financial condition.”
Meanwhile, the COA is also authorized to audit NGOs upon request by proper authorities, in accordance with COA Circular 95-003.
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