COA warns gov’t agencies with unliquidated cash advances
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) issued an ultimatum on Thursday to government agencies that have not yet liquidated their cash advances, saying appropriate cases will be filed against them in two months.
COA chairperson Maria Grace Pulido-Tan told the Senate blue ribbon committee that some agencies have unliquidated cash advances for the past 10 to 15 years and one agency alone could have around P1 billion unliquidated cash advances.
“What we did two years ago, because when I came in, I saw the billions in unliquidated cash advances or cash transfers. So what we did, I said, we better make a final demand on all of these agencies to do something about it. And we even published that in the newspaper,” Tan said at the resumption of the committee’s investigation into the “pork barrel” scam.
She said there is a provision of criminal law that when somebody is given a cash advance and he was not able to liquidate it within the prescribed period and within demand, “there is already a presumption in law that that money was malversed.”
“So that is what we did. I came out, sabi ko this is going to be a final demand, whoever has cash advances in his hands must liquidate already,” said Tan.
The COA chief said they have a list of individuals and organizations that have not made liquidation and are now going through documents so that they could file appropriate charges against them.
“We were able to come up with a list of these individuals and organizations that have not made liquidation and we are now in the process of [selection] so that we can file the appropriate cases through the Office of the Ombudsman,” she said.
“We wish that we could be more expeditious, but as chair Herbosa said, we have the same problem. We are not computerized. We are beginning to get computerized but notwithstanding, we are doing our best to address this matter,” Tan said, referring to Teresita Herbosa, chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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