COA questions OVP's delayed liquidation, cash advances

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Vice President Leni Robredo. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 30) — The Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for failing to liquidate the travel expenses made its personnel last year within the prescribed period.

The 2017 COA report said OVP personnel spent ₱26.4 million on local trips and ₱953,550.75 for foreign trips. But, they were unable to file liquidation reports on time.

"Cash advances (CAs) for local official travels were not liquidated within 30 days upon return to official station, while unused/excess cash advances were refunded even later than the submission of the Liquidation Reports," the COA report read.

Under the COA Circular No. 97-002,  failure of a personnel to liquidate these advances may result in the withholding of their salary.

"Neglect of management to demand the immediate refund of unused/excess cash advances and the submission of liquidation reports within the period prescribed renders inaccuracies in the financial statements," COA said.

COA added delays in accounting signifies lack of internal control and "may unnecessarily expose government resources to risk of loss or misappropriation."

But in a statement, the OVP said all cash advances have been fully liquidated.

"The OVP has instituted stricter measures to prevent similar delays. Full details of these steps taken by the OVP were communicated to COA in a letter sent in March 2018," a statement from Undersecretary Boyet Dy said.

Dy said the letter has clearer guidelines on the handling of cash advances and the withholding of compensation for staff subject to full liquidation, consistent with COA's own recommendations.