COA urged to investigate Davao City’s P2.697 billion confidential fund
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Minority leader and ACT Teachers Partylist Representative France Castro has called on the Commission on Audit (COA) to thoroughly investigate the spending of the P2.697 billion Davao City confidential funds.
The said confidential funds were spent in six years during Vice President Sara Duterte’s mayoral term in the city, a press release from ACT Teachers Partylist said on Saturday.
“She [Rep. Castro] called on the Commission on Audit (COA) to thoroughly investigate if this spending truly falls under the guidelines set by COA-DBM Joint Circular No. 2015-01,” the partylist said.
The said Joint Circular No. 2015-01 is COA and the Department of Budget Management’s guidelines on the entitlement, release, use, reporting, and audit of confidential and/or intelligence funds.
If found otherwise—that the fund was not spent properly, Castro said that the money should be returned, and appropriate charges should be filed.
“This would mean P1.235 million a day of secret spending for 6 years, this is way bigger than even the richest cities in the country like Makati City and Quezon City,” she emphasized in a statement.
Castro also pointed out the possible connection between Davao City’s confidential funds and the Office of the Vice President’s current desire to have the same in their office.
“Perhaps this is why Vice President Sara Duterte is so eager to have a confidential fund in her national office, as she may have become accustomed to such a practice during her time as mayor of Davao,” she said.
“We cannot tolerate any misuse or abuse of public funds, especially large amounts allocated for confidential purposes. We must hold our public officials accountable and ensure that transparency and integrity prevail in our governance,” Castro concluded.
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