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DPWH told to explain P70.4-million irregular expenses

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit (COA) had asked officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to explain more than P70.4 million in irregular expenditures last year.

State auditors said the accountable personnel who used the funds or those who authorized the payments should immediately refund the money.

The COA showed that various DPWH offices nationwide irregularly spent funds amounting to P70,741,928.69 in 2009 “without adhering to established rules, regulations, procedural guidelines, policies, principles or practices that have gained recognition in law.”

Irregular expenses, the audit explained, “also pertain to those incurred without conforming with the prescribed usages and rules of discipline.”

At the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), state auditors said P4,769,558.30 was paid for the rental of eight vehicles in May 2008 and March 2009 through lease terms and the rental agreement was made without the approval and clearance of the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Other DPWH regional offices also made advances or overpayments of rental of vehicles worth P10.541 million; purchased office supplies and materials, tires, batteries, and others out of cash advance or through reimbursement in the amount of P1.086 million; and paid irregular overtime services in the amount of P3.630 million.

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The COA report also cited payment of honoraria in the amount P3.505 million without valid supporting documents and overpayment in the amount of P5.676 million; disbursements for repair and maintenance without pre-repair inspection in the amount of P1.049 million; and drawings, plans and program of work of a farm-to-market road project not signed by a registered agricultural engineer in the amount of P9.645 million.

State auditors said the officials of DPWH Region VII failed to thoroughly review the supporting documents for the acquisition of a 1,532 square-meter lot affected by the road right of way in the construction of the Governor Cuenco flyover, resulting in the partial payment of P4 million to the contested owner, El Dorado Homeowners Association, Inc. without the knowledge of its co-owner as specified in the Deed of Donation.

In addition, payment of road right of way in Region XII was also made but the land titles acquired were not transferred in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.

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