COA questions PTV-4 for P158.5 million in expenses

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2018 07:36 PM

 Audit agency calls out state-run network for personnel incentives and allowances, costs on delayed and non-existent projects

MANILA - The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged state-run People’s Television Network Inc for P158.493 in total expenses for personnel allowances and incentives, questionable projects, and costs not charged to delinquent suppliers.

This as the state media network was embroiled in a controversy over the placement of Department of Tourism advertisements in a blocktimer show run by Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo's brothers Ben and Erwin Tulfo. 

In its 2017 audit report, the COA said P10.456 million were released as Economic Relief Allowance and incentives for officials and employees for the just held Southeast Asian Games (SEA) without the approval of the Office of the President. 

The COA said PTNI should stop granting allowances, incentives and benefits without Malacañang approval.

“We recommended that management submit the copy of the authority from the Office of the President for the grant of SEA Games Incentive and Economic Relief Alllowance to PTNI officials/employees. If no approval is obtained, refund the said amounts to avoid disallowance in audit,” the audit report said. 

It also cited damages amounting to P67.179 million which the network has failed to charge various suppliers that incurred delays in the delivery of contracted goods or services, in violation of provisions of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Act.

These delayed deliveries cover 2 satellite vans, a high definition video system, a non-linear editing system, and studio and office renovations.

The COA recommended that contracts where liquidated damages for late deliveries have already reached 10 percent should be rescinded.

It also flagged the hiring of contractual personnel and the payment of their honoraria as members of the Bids and Awards Committee Secretariat and Technical Working group, contrary to provisions of a Department of Budget and Management circular.

“We recommended that management, in the absence of such authority from the DBM, require the recipients to refund the honoraria received to avoid issuance of Notice of Disallowance,” the audit report said. 

The COA also said the legality of the contracts of contractual and contract-of-service (COS) personnel from January 2017 to December 2017 amounting to P77.302 million could not be established because they were not documented as required by the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines as well as a COA circular dated June 14, 2012.

“The non-submission of the required supporting documents in the payment of salaries of contractual and COS personnel was contrary to the above regulations and will result in the issuance of notices of suspension and a notice of disallowance if the NS are not complied [with] within 90 days from receipt,” the audit report said. 

Also flagged were a shortage of P1.085 million incurred by the company’s disbursing officer and P1.171 in expenses for cash items without proper documentation. 

The COA also noticed a P1.3-million disbursement for a parking lot extension project that was not implemented.

“We recommended that management require the contractor to refund the amount of P1.3 million representing payment for the development of a parking lot extension that did not materialize or deduct the said amount from future billings of said contractor for any project undertaken by them, otherwise a Notice of Disallowance shall be issued by the audit team for the recovery of the amount involved,” the audit report said. 

PTV-4 has a workforce of 550 personnel, including permanent, contractual and contract-of-service workers.