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Sunday, November 19, 2017 29° Partly sunny

PCA head says Yolanda fund fully accounted for

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By Antonio L. Colina IV

Davao City — Newly appointed Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) administrator Romulo J. dela Rosa clarified that his agency has already made a full accounting of the P2.45 billion under the Yolanda Recovery and Rehabilitation Program (YRRP), after the Commission on Audit (COA) called out the agency for failing to properly account for the rehabilitation funds.

Dela Rosa, who assumed his post four months ago, issued the clarification at the start of the two-day Second Cocolink at the SMX Convention Center Davao here, where he maintained the budget disbursement from the Yolanda rehabilitation fund was properly utilized and fully accounted for.

He said the PCA has so far disbursed P1.9 billion out of the total budget.

“I should just say ‘Oh, what has happened before my time I should just blame the previous administrators for it.’ But I don’t think that is fair to PCA,” he said.

Dela Rosa said the PCA responded and explained the audit observations of the COA in May this year regarding the budget expended under the Yolanda rehabilitation program.

He said a case has been filed already before the Ombudsman against an official of the PCA in Eastern Visayas who was implicated in the case about missing funds worth P5.9 million, which had been allegedly paid out to non-existent coconut farmers in the Eastern Visayas.

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