COVID-19 expenses of Veterans hospital lack papers – COA
MANILA, Philippines — At least P 17.8 million in COVID-19 expenses incurred last year by the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) lacked complete documents to support their validity and propriety, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
State auditors made the observation in a 2021 audit report on the VMMC which was uploaded recently on COA’s website.
The COA selected 32 sample payments amounting to P195.802 million for postaudit, or over 61 percent of the P317.040 million in disbursements made by the hospital.
The funds came from the Department of Health (DOH), Office of the President, Phividec Industrial Authority and the VMMC’s 2021 budget.
The funds were meant to be spent on supplies for COVID-19 testing laboratories, hazard pay and special risk allowance, medical and surgical supplies and prescribed medicines, personal protective equipment, other COVID-19 supplies and food supplies.
The audit report found that of the 32 selected samples, payments totaling P 17,835,120 were found lacking documents such as approved work and financial plan reflecting the procurement of COVID-19 supplies and testing related needs, laboratory quarterly and annual reports, quarterly report of disbursement for the actual expenses, or the approved budget for the activity or expense.
Presidential Decree No. 1445 or the Government Auditing Code requires that disbursements of government funds should bear the approval of the proper officials, and that claims against government funds should be supported with complete documents.
It also states that the use of government funds or property in violation of the law should be a personal liability of the official or employee directly responsible for the disbursement.
“In view of the incomplete submission of the documentary requirements, the audit team was unable to check the validity and propriety of the reported disbursements,” the COA said.
State auditors advised the VMMC to immediately submit the documents.
In a response dated March 9, the VMMC said its accounting section already submitted a liquidation report to the DOH.
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