MANILA- State-run television network PTV may lose advertising income yet again after state auditors flagged the advertising spending of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) involving the network.
In its 2017 audit report on GSIS, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the insurance system should not have used its funds on advertisements in PTV.
Earlier this year, a P60 million advertising deal between the said television network and the Department of Tourism came under fire. Then tourism chief Wanda Teo resigned following the scandal.
The COA said several Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) were entered into between the GSIS and the People’s Television Network Inc. to cover unremitted premium and loan payments deducted from the salaries of the television network's employees.
The cost of media services of PTV was P30.782 million for 2016, and P19.373 million for 2017, with a total amount of P50.155 million, which should exhaust the P47.020 million balance of the GSIS in the latest MOA entered into in 2015.
“As pointed out in the 2016 Annual Audit Report, the additional exposures covered by the latest Memorandum of Agreement were unnecessary since the GSIS required no introduction since it has been in existence years ago and membership to the GSIS is compulsory for all government employees receiving compensation,” the COA said.
The COA, however, said that the GSIS Member’s Hour which also airs on PTV is more than enough information venue to disseminate news and updates about the GSIS.
It was also noted that PTV has a poor signal reception in Metro Manila and worse in the provinces.
It is not a popular choice among urban dwellers either, according to government auditors.
“We further noted that the said infomercials and television ad placements are merely stating that the program is sponsored by GSIS, hence, it did not add value to GSIS members, non-responsive to the exigencies of the GSIS mandate, and can be dispensed with without loss or damage to the system,” the COA said.
Government auditors also said that the advertising MOAs were an accommodation to PTV to pay off its unremitted obligation.
“Although there were no actual cash outlays, the services rendered were charged against the receivable account which could just have been collected and added to the reserves of the system to guarantee the fulfillment of its obligation to provide social security benefits to its member,” the COA said.
The COA said the GSIS management already agreed to limit infomercials to those that add value to GSIS members and if necessary, “media services should be contracted with television network that has better signal reception in intended locations.”
"During the exit conference with COA, GSIS Management committed to bring up the matter to the GSIS Board to revisit the MOA with PTV," lawyer Jesus Aranas, president of GSIS said in a statement.