COA flags BuCor for P639-M unutilized funds, P176-M expenses for catering

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2021 06:12 PM

FILE. Bureau of Corrections. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
FILE. Bureau of Corrections. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has failed to utilize P639.211 million of its total allotment of funds worth P5.849 billion, which does not reflect “sound cash programming,” according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

In the 2020 audit report on the BuCor, government auditors noted that highest among the unutilized funds are for unfilled positions, amounting to P259.859 million. 

Other unobligated allotments include P130.76 million for personnel services and P178.568 million for maintenance and other operating expenses. 

The audit report stated that out of the planned additional 1,500 Corrections Officer 1 positions, only 803 positions were filled up in 2020.

The auditors noted that the additional positions were not fully filled up partly because of the low turnout of applicants.

They also noted that according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Circular No. 2011-15, agencies must ensure optimum utilization of their available notice of cash allocation releases.

“The inability of BuCor to fully utilize allotment received, did not conform with the objective of efficient spending as required in the above-mentioned DBM Budget Circulars,” the audit team said. 

The audit team recommended to the BuCor management to intensify its recruitment process and maximize the use of allotments through proper planning.

The audit report also flagged the payment of catering services in 2020 totaling P176.314 million without complete documentation.

The catering services were availed in the Davao Prison and Penal Farm as well as in Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm.

The audit team noted that the BuCor management has agreed to their recommendation to require its accounting section to ensure that supporting documents will be completed before processing claims for catering services.

A copy of the report was received by the office of BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag on July 27, 2021