PRRD: COA report on DOH’s P67-B inadequacy only incomplete documentation

Spread the love

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte stated on Monday night that the deficiencies in the Department of Health (DOH)’s PHP67.32 billion funding for the country’s Covid-19 pandemic response could be linked to incomplete paperwork.

Duterte said in his pre-recorded Talk to the People that the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the DOH’s deficiency in handling the funds do not automatically imply that the money was stolen.

“Kapag ang COA nagsabi sa deficiency, ‘di mo masabi na ninakaw ang pera (When COA says there’s a deficiency, does not mean the money was stolen), deficiency is really in producing the necessary documents,” he said.

Duterte criticized the COA for naming the organizations involved in the Covid-19 pandemic response.

“You make a report, do not flag. Do not publish it because it will condemn the agency or the person that you are flagging,” he said.

He pointed out that the country has been doing a lot amid the pandemic that some paperwork may be overlooked.

“May mga project tayo, malaking project, so ngayon mayroong talagang mga papel-papel na hindi masyadong kumpleto sa paperwork (We have a project, we have a huge project so there are some paper works that are incomplete),” he said.

When preliminary audit reports are disclosed to the public, he claims, they “become the gospel truth.”

According to Duterte, the COA should not conduct an audit while the program is still in operation.

“You know papers, bureaucracy takes a very long time sometimes the documents are deficient,” he said. “If COA is the one preparing the papers and we are just implementing eh ‘di madali (it would be easy).”

He noted that it is not fair to highlight persons who are working and toiling to accomplish their tasks when “the papers that are in their custody are truly sufficient and deficient.”

“Huwag ka munang mag-audit hanggang hindi pa natapos ang trabaho ko (Don’t audit until my work is done),” he said. “And yet you know when you flag, there is already a taint of corruption by perception.”

COA flagging an agency, according to the President, can be a “conundrum.”

“You know this Covid-19 will never be won by the way you are also behaving. You know that this is an emergency. It is a matter of life or death so you have to understand and give it a little elbow room to move,” he added.

Duterte said he instructed pandemic response agencies to borrow money if they are lacking, merely to meet the needs of Filipinos during this crisis period.

He assured that none of his Cabinet members will be allowed to take money from the taxpayers.

House committees to hold hearings during break

Spread the love

Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.