MANILA — The Commission on Audit disallowed the purchase of coffee vendo machines as well as coffee and chocolate made by the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) for the supposed welfare of its employees in 2013.
In the decision of the COA proper dated January 24, 2022 but was released recently, the notice of disallowance issued by its Corporate Government Sector-Cluster 5 on November 9, 2016 on the purchase of the items was deemed final and executory.
The NTA spent a total amount of P350,000 which covered 14 coffee vendo machines, 200 kilograms of coffee, and 90 kilograms of chocolate.
It was stressed in the decision that the items purchased by the NTA for health program activities for its employees were improper.
"It only covers physical and mental fitness program that seeks to attain long-term health through exercises and related physical fitness activities. Coffee vendo machines are not activities," the COA proper said in the decision signed by then chairperson Michael Aguinaldo and Commissioner Roland Pondoc.
The commission also noted the late filing of the petition for review by the NTA, having exhausted the reglementary period of 6 months or 180 days to file an appeal.
The petition for review was filed by NTA officials Edgardo Zaragoza, Cristina Lopez, Ma. Theresa Laudencia and Milagros Tiu.
"Liberality in the application of rules of procedure cannot be applied if it will result in the wanton disregard of the rules or cause needless delay in the administration of justice," the commission proper said.