By Ben Rosario
The Commission on Audit has disclosed that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has incurred at some P2.072 billion in suspended and disallowed disbursements, including expenditures for 12 pieces of San Miguel Light and 30 liters of draft beer consumed during its 2017 Christmas party.
In its 2018 PCSO annual audit report, COA also asked the PCSO to immediately transfer to its Charity Fund at least P684.302 million in unclaimed Keno game prizes and unutilized operating fund in 2017.
“The total amount of P684.302 million, consisting of forfeited prizes for Keno games during CYs 2015-2017 in the total amount of P184.302 million, as well as the remaining balance of the 2017 un-utilized operations fund of P500 million, were not yet transferred to the Charity Fund, contrary to Sections 6. A and 6.D of Republic Act No. 1169, otherwise known as the PCSO charter, which could have provided the much-needed fund for the various charitable programs of the PCSO, most especially the Individual Assistance Program (IMAP),” the state audit agency said.
COA records disclosed that as of December 31, 2018, notices of suspension have been issued for various questionable expenditures totaling P4.35 million.
A total of P2,067,686,833.22 in transactions have been issued notices of disallowances which are now under appeal before the COA Commission Proper.
“The disallowances issued for the period amounting to P811,463 million represent payment of unauthorized benefits, unnecessary and extravagant expenses amounting to P519.925 million, P291.482 million and P56,540, respectively,” the audit report stated.
The unsettled disallowance of P56,540.05 covered payment of “12 pieces of San Miguel Beer Ligth and 30 liters of Draft Beer consumed during Christmas celebration on December 19, 2017,” state auditors revealed.
Also subjected to a notice of disallowance was the P291.4 million disbursements for “overpriced procurement of lotto paper supplies from TMA Pty. Limited”, through its subsidiary, TMA Group Philippines.
The PCSO management contested the ND by filing an appeal.
The ND for P519,924,765.44 covered various allowances, bonuses and other personnel benefits distributed to PCSO officials and employers. The COA CGS has affirmed he disallowance.
The questionable car loan and assistance plan that released P5,271,389.11 was also disallowed.
Other questionable expenditures that were covered by NDs included excess representation and transportation allowances, clothing allowance, staple food allowance, hazard pay and weekly draw allowance, Christmas bonuses, Grocery bonuses and other perks and financial privileges granted PCSO officials and employees.
Most of the ND’s have been confirmed by the CGS but were appealed before the three-man COA CP headed by Chairman Michael Aguinaldo.