Millions in fund misuse, misappropriation uncovered by COA auditors
OVER P4.4 million in unliquidated cash advances, wrong use of Special
Education Fund (SEF), millions in unimplemented programs, over P7.4 million in lost earnings, inadequate bond for town treasurer
and an unsecured treasurer's office summed up this year's additional findings of Commission on Audit (COA) on the 2010 operation
of the municipality of Tigbauan, Iloilo.
Senior State Auditors in the latest Annual Audit Report (AAR) from
the COA also uncovered town collections not remitted intact or in full for at least five years in a row...COA reported of
unrealized income worth P7,440,000 from some 48 markets stalls left unused...
Worse even is the town's treasurer office itself found by COA as
"not properly secured exposing government funds and property to risk of loss thru theft due to its accessibility to unauthorized
personnel contrary to sound internal control."
Read full AunStar article
Suicide, Scams, Scandal Trap a Nation
(a wide-ranging article about the Philippines)
The Philippines can be a scandalmonger’s paradise.
At this very moment, editors are pressed to decide which controversy goes on the front page: the suicide story, the car scam,
Chopper-gate or the asylum follies...Although growth now is a healthy 4.9 percent, politicians and businesspeople hoard most
of the gains...Filipinos deserve better. Their nation is welcoming, vibrant, fascinating and boasts some of the most beautiful
landscapes anywhere. Thanks to corruption, it is an afterthought in terms of foreign investment and tourism. Nothing demonstrates
the backwardness of Philippine infrastructure like its dilapidated airports...
The good news is that Aquino is homing in on the problem.
The three major debt-rating companies have raised the country’s sovereign grade within the past year... Aquino is redoubling
an anti-corruption effort that, at least rhetorically, is cheering investors...
Aquino’s team is busily auditing many
big-money deals approved during the Arroyo years...
Aquino must not pull any punches in his corruption
battle. That has happened too many times in the Philippines. Its people deserve a thorough and public accounting of why their
living standards haven’t improved. There needs to be a serious reconsideration of a political culture that serves itself,
not the tens of millions toiling in poverty.
The only way the Philippines will reach its true potential
is to get the spoils of economic growth out of the pockets of politicians to those who most need it -- and earn it. An end
to the scandals and corruptions might help, too.
NOW TIME TO INVEST: Economists and financial experts agreed that for the government and for investors awash with cash, now
is the time to invest, especially in job-generating infrastructure. "The point is how can we attract long-term investments
from both foreigners and locals? PPPs (public-private partnerships) have been slow going," Arsenio M. Balisacan said. Balisacan
credited the Aquino government for striving to change the perception that the Philippines is a country riddled by corruption.
"KOTONG" COPS BACK: The "kotong" (mulcting) cops are back. This time they are meaner and are now having a field day, an affront
to President Benigno S. Aquino III's campaign against corruption, major transport groups said in a dialogue with Vice President
Jejomar C. BinaY... Zenaida Maranan, president of the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers of the Philippines (Fejodap),
told Binay during the dialogue that apart from rising fuel prices and spare parts, what hurts public utility jeepney (PUJ)
drivers are some policemen mulcting money from hapless victims. Maranan said that in some areas such as in Manila, where Fejodap
members operate, a "mere PO1 (Police Officer 1) or PO2 (Police Officer 2)" now demand as much as P20 from every PUJ unit.
SPECIAL REPORT: CAN OF WORMS AT GSIS >>> National Grid Corporation of the Philippines suspected... that there was something
amiss. From 2008 to 2010, NGCP...was paying a premium ranging from $5.57 million to $6.69 million...NGCP suspects that in
the past, the bidding terms were being tailor-fit by the GSIS to favor the existing reinsurer because other bidders were simply
not taking part in the exercise...Suspicions have been raised that GSIS's reinsurance program had been a source of graft and
corruption in the past. If the NGCP reinsurance involved such amounts, then how much more the other insurance policies being
reinsured by the GSIS? In spite of these huge premiums, the industrial all risks (IAR)/submarine cable and sabotage and terrorism
policy had a high deductible amount
EX-PRESIDENT FIDEL V. RAMOS: Government
witch-hunts driving away investors
PALACE TO FVR:
Foreign investors support Noy's drive
August 13: Former President Fidel Ramos said the investigations
into numerous anomalies during the Arroyo administration are driving away investors and giving the country a bad image. “These
(investigations) are not (creating) a pretty picture for us. It is likewise not very attractive to those who want to invest
and travel to the Philippines. They end up going somewhere else,”...The former president did not specify which investigations are tarnishing the country’s image.
August 14: Malacaņang…belied former President
Fidel Ramos's claim that President Benigno Aquino III's campaign against corruption is driving away foreign investors. "We
are getting the opposite because according to the foreign investors that we have talked with, they say the search for accountability
is a good thing because it brings closure [to questions of anomalies in the past administration]," deputy presidential spokesperson
Abigail Valte said… "It's better to let the people see what is really happening and what the government is doing rather
than sugar coating." She also reminded Ramos that President Aquino was elected because of his campaign
promise to rid the government of corruption and go after "against those who have done the country wrong." “You can’t
say we are against corruption and yet let accountability fall by the wayside," …Valte denied that the Aquino administration is on a witch hunt. She said that Malacaņang is making
sure that all charges that may be filed against officials of the previous administration are based on facts and evidence.
COA Chides PCGG
- failure to make available for audit examination
$50.48m Marcos recovery
- spending $3.9 million for travel
The Commission on Audit has chided the Presidential Commission
on Good Government (PCGG) for failing to make available for audit examination the $50.48 million Swiss deposits of the Marcos
family that was forfeited in favor of the government.
CoA also chided the PCGG for spending $3.9 million for travel between
January 31, 2004, and September, 2010.
“PCGG use of this fund for travel was marked by the following
attributes: apparently unliquidated, irregularly disbursed, clearly excessive, and in some instances ultra vire, in that it
was used for travels clearly beyond the stated parameters of the fund,” the 2010 annual report for PCGG said. The audit
agency said disbursements of the fund held in escrow in the Philippine National Bank (PNB) should be recorded and that all
transactions starting January, 2004 until now should be presented for post audit...
State auditors explained that PD 1445 provides that “all
monies and property officially received by a public officer in any capacity or upon occasion must be accounted for as government
funds and government property.” It also stressed that all disbursements should be subjected to “necessary examination
and audit within thirty days” from receipt of the money.
ABS-CBN NEWS - HELICOPTERGOROUND SWIRLS
Lawyer: Mike Arroyo sold LTA shares in March 2001
Senator: A lot of people will go to jail
Despite the increasing number of witnesses against him, former
First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo still insists he is not the owner of 2 pre-owned choppers that were sold as brand new to
the Philippine National Police (PNP).
His lawyer Inocencio Ferrer said Mike Arroyo has divested himself
of his interests in LTA Incorporated since March 2001 when his wife became President of the Republic...
However, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Teofisto Guingona
III presented the general information sheet of LTA Inc. for year 2011, which showed that Mike Arroyo is still one of the company's
top stockholders. Guingona said he believes a lot of people will go to jail for the anomalous procurement of second hand choppers.
Senator berates COA Resident Auditor
“There’s a conspiracy to cover
up something here.” Senate President Juan
Ponce Enrile said Thursday as he berated Commission on Audit (CoA) auditor Jaime Sanares, resident auditor of the Philippine
National Police (PNP), for failing to properly audit the contract entered into by the law enforcement agency with a helicopter
“I’m not an auditor (but) I know auditors
are sharp people. My god, to tell you the truth, the impression now in this particular case is that there is a conspiracy
to cover up something here,” Enrile said at the resumption of the Senate hearing on the controversial purchase of the
PNP of two used helicopters...
The Senate leader berated Sanares for not even taking
a second look at the contract to see if the deal between the PNP and the Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corporation (MAPTRA)
was fully complied.
“You just made it on the basis of the site inspection.
Did you refer to the procurement documents? Basta sabi mo, sabi ng inspector mo, they looked like brand new. Di ba ninyo tinitingnan
ano bang (klaseng) kontrata ng ahensya ng gobyerno dito sa produkto na binibili? Di nyo ba tinitingnan yun? (Did you not check
what kind of contract did the agency of the government had with the kind of product they chose to buy? You did not check it?”
Enrile asked Sanares during the hearing.
Sanares said they scrutinized the contract and even
thought of engaging the services of another CoA auditor who was assigned to them.
But Enrile pointed out that if state auditors were thorough
in their auditing of the aircraft purchased, the PNP would not have bought the helicopters.
“I’ll put it directly. You didn’t
find anything wrong with it. You didn’t try to ascertain if the contract was faithfully executed or complied,”
he told Sanares during the hearing.
“Precisely the contract says brand new…There
must be compliance with the contract and the most important part of the contract is the description of the property to be
purchased. It was brand new… but your audit, your representative in doing the post audit, did not see to it that the
contract was faithfully complied with by the supplier,” Enrile said.
Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project
Reforming the Commission on Audit
By any measure or program that aims to prevent or eliminate corruption,
the role of audit is crucial...
Ma. Gracia Pulido Tan, new COA chairperson said she accepted
the position with the aim of ensuring that COA would be what it is meant to be– to ensure that public funds would have
full and proper accounting.
Tan said there is a long way to go in building the integrity of
One main area of concern is the pre-audit. Pre-audit is the policy
requiring government agencies to secure COA’s approval before they can embark on projects that will entail the use of
public funds. Tan said this practice will be removed...
Another possible reform...residency audit –
where audit teams hold office in their assigned agencies – may be removed...
In the past, the COA failed to properly monitor multi-agency projects or
transactions because audits were fragmented...
COA also intends to strengthen its coordination with the Office of the
Tan...said there is a need to put in place a culture of integrity in the
commission to be able to sustain the reforms. “A culture of integrity is truly a formidable and inclusive process. It
requires the active cooperation and involvement of all stakeholders. Each of them must want it and accept and own their respective
roles in both the vision and the process. The ultimate responsibility of the leader is to lead by example,”
under her leadership, COA is now preparing for a major strategic planning
plan to map out the commission’s course in the next five years.
“I think that what we need is a long term plan, at
least a five year plan which would be subject to review. We will involve not just the higher echelons but I also want to hear
from the ground what is going on,” Tan said. The program would stress the values of integrity, transparency
and professionalism in the agency...
ASIA PACIFIC FUTUREGOV
E-procurement system (PhilGePs)
Rosa Cemente, Director of the Philippine Government
E-procurement system (PhilGePs) on how the system helps the government promote transparency since its inception in 2000:
PhilGEPS is the single e- portal for registration of suppliers and advertisement
of bid opportunities in the country.
The Philippines’ procurement system used to be described as cumbersome
and prone to corruption as there were many outdated and inconsistent laws and many agencies dealing with issuance of guidelines
and procedures in procurement.
The procurement process across all government agencies, from all branches
of government, to local government units and public schools and universities, now involves announcing and advertising all
procurement opportunities, inviting qualified parties to bid, evaluation of bids, awarding of contracts, monitoring of delivery
and performance and payment. The whole process is recorded and posted electronically for others to see.
Through the use of the PhilGEPS, transparency in government procurement
is enhanced since opportunities to trade with government and the ensuing transactions are provided online. Information on
changes in terms of references, bid schedules and on the winning bidder and contract amount are all accessible through the system.
In addition, the electronic catalogue, which provides information on pre-approved
cost of commonly used items, will help government auditors check that supplies purchased by a government agency are not grossly over-priced.
As of September 2010, the PhilGEPS hosted bid opportunities posted by
11,147 government agencies and accessed by 45,955 goods and services providers. Over 1,080,000 bid notices have been posted
by various procuring entities
“If there is transparency (of services) we will be able to increase
competition (in the bidding process)which result in getting more quality service and better prices and also it helps the government
to implement the law. ”
...the Philippine government also plans to launch the eBidding feature
by the end of the year to enable online submission and opening of government bid projects.
“Information will become transparent not only in the bidders but
also in the civil society organisation, the auditors; even the public can see information in the system,”...
Department of Justice issues cyber crime advisory
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said she wants the
public to be informed on different crimes committed in the Internet, stressing that uniformed policemen alone would not keep
the cyber haven safe.
Internet statistics show that 30 percent of the Philippine population
have access to the "world wide web" as of 2010, posting a 3 percent increase since 2000... 87 percent of Filipino Internet
users "have fallen prey in one way or another to various kinds of malicious activities through the Internet."
“The Internet not only serves as a medium for better access
to information and more convenient modes of communication but it also presents an opportunity for criminals to victimize the
public, especially vulnerable sectors like children and the youth,"...
For the public's protection against cyber crimes, De Lima advised
everyone to be cautious and vigilant with their private information. She also reminded the public of the “do not trust
To report cyber crimes, the public may contact the National Bureau
of Investigation, an attached agency of the DoJ, through its Computer Crimes Unit with telephone numbers (02) 528-8231 to
38 local 3455 or the Philippine National Police's Cybercrime Unit under the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group
at (02) 726-1575.