COA budget for new equipment nearly wiped out

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2014 07:10 PM | Updated as of Sep 02 2014 03:53 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - The Commission on Audit (COA) , one of the government's vanguards against corruption, saw its budget for new equipment and facilities nearly wiped out for 2015.

COA chair Grace Pulido Tan's agency proposed a capital outlay of P838 million for 2015 but this was reduced to only P435,000.

Tan told the House of Representatives appropriations committee that the COA needs to make new investments in offices as well as information and communications technology.

COA presently does not have a physical regional office in all local government units in the country. Some are just holding office in the LGUs themselves, which make them less independent as they should be.

Tan also said COA does not have a centralized information system, noting that documents gathered by the COA in its work have been kept in sacks in their office and have thus been lost.

Some could not be produced during trial at the Sandiganbayan.

The COA's 2015 budget is unchanged from its 2014 budget which stands at P7.8 billion.

Tan, meanwhile, said COA returned some P65 million in Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds to the National Treasury.

She confirmed this to lawmakers.

Tan said the funds were obligated but unused when the Supreme Court struck down the DAP, thus they felt it was covered by the doctrine of operative fact.