Palace: Duterte office 'studying' COA findings on donations, travel request

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2020 12:51 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his remarks following a meeting with the officials of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, discussing the impasse in Congress as he called on its members to resolve the issues on the passing of the national budget for 2021 at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on Oct. 8, 2020. Simeon Celi, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's office is "studying" the Commission on Audit's (COA) findings on its unused donations and travel request violation, Malacañang said Friday. 

The COA, in a report published Thursday, flagged the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for General Administration (ODESGA) for allowing foreign travel of its officials even if requests were made less than the required period before departure.

A memorandum circular states that travel requests should be submitted less than 10 days before departure, or 2 days before the trip in “extremely justifiable cases,” COA noted. 

Late requests “resulted in the delayed processing and releasing of travel authorities by 2 to 185 days, and the incurrence of foreign travel without legal basis.” 

Auditors also separately flagged the Office of the President's unused grants and donations worth ₱1.4 billion, which could have been allocated to agrarian reform, calamity assistance, and rehabilitation of depressed areas. 

"As per the Office of the Executive Secretary, the Office of the President is already working on the guidelines and studying how to best address the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA), which include how donations will be effectively and efficiently utilized," Duterte spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement. 

Duterte's office has a P8.201-billion budget for this year.