Spent in 11 days? OVP budget sponsor calls COA report ‘inaccurate’
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) spent its confidential funds (CF) in 2022 for 19 days — the original report — and not 11 days as admitted by Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo, the agency’s budget sponsor said on Wednesday.
At the plenary debates on the OVP budget, budget sponsor and Davao de Oro 1st District Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora was asked by ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro whether it is true that the P125 million CF was spent only for 11 days, between December 13 to 31, 2022.
Zamora clarified that such a claim — which was based on the Commission on Audit (COA) report) — was inaccurate.
“To say that the Office of the Vice President spent the confidential funds in 11 days, the Office submits its stand that it is inaccurate, Mr. Speaker, your Honor. The report of COA, which is the basis of the report of COA for the utilization of the fund, starts from December 20 to 31, [which is] 11 days,” Zamora said.
“However, Mr. Speaker, your Honor, the implementation of the programs started on the day that the SARO was released, on December 13 of 2022. Which means immediately after the release of SARO, the implementation has already started,” she added.
Zamora maintained that it is the actual payment or CF usage that started from December 20 to 31, but the “actual implementation is not 11 days, but it is 19 days”.
Zamora’s explanation led Castro to assume that Makabayan’s original assessment was correct.
“So tama pala ‘yong computation ng Makabayan, 19 days,” she said.
Last Monday, Quimbo admitted at the plenary debates of the COA’s proposed 2024 budget that OVP spent the CF at 11 days, shocking Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, the interpellator.
“Madam Speaker, according to previous talks, it appears that the OVP spent the P125 million in just 19 days, which seems too short of a time, Madam Speaker. Can the COA confirm this? Madam Speaker, this is from the SAOB. It was spent from December 13 to December 31, so that’s 19 days,” Brosas said in Filipino.