Binay to explain unliquidated funds
VICE President Jejomar Binay said Saturday he would submit to the Commission on Audit (COA) “further clarification” regarding the reported P95-million unliquidated releases from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) going back three years.
In a statement, Binay said his office had sent an explanation to the commission six months ago.
The COA in a report released on Wednesday said P95.09 million in releases from Binay’s PDAF or pork barrel from 2012 to 2013—before the discretionary fund was scrapped due to anomalies—remained unliquidated.
In reply, Binay said his office had responded to the report in June this year.
Assistant Secretary Rosalie Licauco, assistant chief of staff at the Office of the Vice President (OVP), had also told state auditor Marife Tubana in a letter on June 22 that the OVP “will submit other needed information for post-audit purposes at the soonest possible time.”
The report was released just as Binay, standard-bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance for the May 2016 elections, grappled with new allegations of corruption involving contracts during his term as mayor of Makati City.
The COA report noted the unliquidated funds as follows: P59.46 million to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the construction, repair and rehabilitation of Office of Senior Citizens Affairs Multi-Purpose Building; P18 million to fund Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) scholarships, and P17.624 million for livelihood, social welfare and health programs in Makati City.
Details the OVP released yesterday showed that some of the disbursed funds also went to hospitals in different parts of the country under Binay’s medical assistance program.
Fund transfers were made through memoranda of understanding with the following hospitals: Baguio General Hospital, La Union Medical Center, Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital in Mountain Province, Southern Isabela General Hospital and Davao Regional Hospital, among others.
The OVP had “sent demand letters” to the hospitals to complete their liquidation, Licauco said.
Binay’s office also said the disbursements to the DPWH and CHEd had been partially accomplished.
In her letter to Tubana in June, Licauco also explained the OVP’s decision to choose MPL Trading as the supplier for P879.55-million worth of relief goods for families affected by monsoon rains in 2015.
She said the firm was selected “in the interest of fast delivery to families in need.”
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