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COA nudges Negros Occidental to liquidate P64M cash advances

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Commission on Audit (COA) reminded the provincial government of Negros Occidental to continue liquidating their outstanding cash advances totaling P63.93 million.

Audit records showed that of the total balance, P53.85 million has been unliquidated for a period over two years. A significant chunk, P46 million drawn against the Intelligence/Confidential Fund, was disbursed as far back as 2011.

This practice, according to state auditors, is a violation of Section 89 of Presidential Decree No. 1445:

“A cash advance shall be reported on and liquidated as soon as the purpose for which it was given has been served. No additional cash advance shall be allowed…unless the previous cash advance given to him is first settled or a proper accounting thereof is made,” COA wrote in the 2018 annual audit report.

Source: 2018 Annual Audit Report on the Province of Negros Occidental

However, the report showed that the bulk of the outstanding balance, P46 million in total, could not be liquidated due to delays in receiving credit notices from COA Intelligence and Confidential Fund Audit Unit.

State auditors also noted that the provincial government has taken steps to resolve the problem, issuing a memorandum in 2014 demanding that all officials and employees liquidate their outstanding cash advances.

“The aforesaid measure has notably reduced the amount of unliquidated cash advances,” COA said, disclosing that the balance has since dropped from P92,800,727.55 in 2015.

In addition, the provincial government sent demand letters to delinquent officials, even those who have resigned, retired or transferred.

Still, COA reminds Negros Occidental, through its Provincial Accountant, to continue demanding the immediate liquidation of the outstanding accounts under threat of withholding the salaries from those still in active service.