COA flags other government agencies for ‘questionable’ spending

The Commission on Audit (COA) continues to issue audit reports amid pandemic and criticism from President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) was one of the agencies flagged by COA for allegedly overpriced sanitary napkins sold to a construction and trading company.

“The procured sanitary napkins (P10, P20, P30) per pad is very costly. The napkins can be bought in small sari-sari stores at P5 to P8 per pad only,” said COA in a report.

According to the COA report, the sanitary napkins included and thermal scanners purchased due to the pandemic from a construction and trading business in City.

But to the agency’s surprise, the auditors did not find this store based on the address on the receipt provided by OWWA.

The agency also found that OWWA bought snacks worth P300,000 from a caterer in City, even though there are supermarkets for sale in City, where the agency is located.

The COA also did not miss a visit to other agencies, such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), due to the transfer of P160 million in funds to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

COA flags other government agencies for ‘questionable’ spending

The state auditors said it was “highly questionable” or questionable due to a lack of “proper authority/legal basis.”

TESDA’s defense is that their allocation of funds to NTF-ELCAC is based on EO 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte.

COA Chairperson Michael maintained that they had no motive to discredit government agencies and that they were only mandated in the Constitution to do so.

“We have a constitutional mandate. We have to comply with that. I do have a force of about 9,000 people in COA who are very dedicated, very professional, and committed to do the work that they do. We would like to assure the public, there is no concerted efforts or whatsoever,” he said.

Aguinaldo also stressed that the audit reports are on their website because it is also mandated by law.

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