DepEd has over P1.9B balance in unliquidated cash advances — COA

By: Cathrine Gonzales - Reporter / @cgonzalesINQ - | October 30,2020 - 03:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has accumulated an unliquidated cash advance balance of P1.9 billion as of yearend of 2019, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

In its annual audit report for DepEd in 2019, COA said a significant amount of unliquidated cash advances at the department is a result of deficiencies in the granting, liquidation, and monitoring of cash advances, contrary to existing COA rules and regulations and related DepEd guidelines.

“The unliquidated cash advances as [of] December 31, 2019, in DepEd CO (central office) and 14 ROs (regional offices) under Advances accounts had a significant aggregate balance of P1,922,340,516.26,” COA said.

Below is the breakdown of unliquidated cash advances of DepEd in its central office and at its regional offices as of December 2019, according to COA:

Central Office – P101.8 million
National Capital Region – P158.9 million
Region I – P70 million
Region II – P15.3 million
Region III – P34.7 million
Region IV-B – P93.9 million
Region V – P445.5 million
Region VI – P411 million
Region VII – P4.7 million
Region VIII – P15.7 million
Region IX – P79.5 million
Region X – P59.8 million
Region XI – P14.8 million
Region XII – P290.3 million
Region XIII – P125.6 million

According to the COA, the unliquidated cash advances include unsettled accountabilities due from retired, resigned, transferred, or deceased former personnel of DepEd’s regional offices in Regions II, V, and VIII, in respective amounts of P1,378,160, P1,389,821, and P244,269.

“The same observation was noted in ROs VI (Schools Division Office Cadiz City) and III (SDO Nueva Ecija), however, the amount pertaining to the deficiency was not mentioned. The liquidation/settlement of the said accounts is doubtful,” COA said.

“Aging of unliquidated advances in the total amount of P1,158,332,034.73 in DepEd CO and in nine ROs revealed that P907,857,319.39 were granted during the year while the amount of P250,474,715.34 pertained to cash advances granted in previous years which have been due for over one year to more than ten years,” state auditors added.

COA recommended Deped to strictly comply with existing COA rules and regulations and DepEd guidelines on the granting, liquidation, and monitoring of cash advances.

It also urged the department to issue demand letters to Accountable Officers to settle their cash advances.

“In case of failure to comply, DepEd should implement the withholding of salaries or any money due to them, including appropriate legal sanctions pursuant to Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code for failure to render accounts,” said COA.

“After all the possible measures were undertaken to ascertain the details of the account and proven futile, request authority to write off said accounts from the Commission on Audit, in accordance with COA Circular No. 97-001 dated February 5, 1997, and COA Circular No. 2016-005 dated December 19, 2016,” COA said.

DepEd regional offices have submitted their response and explanation to COA, with some agreeing to comply with the recommendations of the commission.

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TAGS: COA, Department of Education, DepEd, unliquidated cash advances

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