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COA hits DTI, PIA over P4-M phone bills

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has frowned on P4.674 million in mobile phone expenses incurred by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in 2014, describing it as an “excessive expenditure of government funds.”

In a report released recently, COA said financial records show that the DTI central office paid P2.394 million for 167 postpaid mobile subscriptions of various officials and employees.

State auditors explained that as per COA Circular No. 2012-003 dated Oct. 29, 2012, excessive expenditures for mobile phone expenses include “the provision of mobile phones, whether postpaid line subscription or prepaid, in excess of one unit for each entitled official lower than Division Chief rank.”

“Of the 167 postpaid mobile subscription plans, the 107 with total accumulated payments of P1,097,707.55 were issued to unauthorized personnel/individuals and considered excessive expenditure of government funds,” the COA report read.

“Moreover, payments for mobile phone usages to eight DTI officials amounting to P490,048.33 exceeded the allowable monthly subscription rates of P226,800, thus, an excess of P263,248.33 which should be treated as personal expense chargeable to officials concerned unless supported by a certification that said calls were official in nature duly signed by their immediate supervisor,” the findings stressed.

State auditors said they recommended and the management agreed to stop the renewal of postpaid mobile subscription plan assigned to personnel holding positions lower than division chief.

State auditors also recommended to ensure that only qualified personnel can avail themselves of the plan and require officials who exceeded the authorized allowable rates to refund the excess amount or submit a certification duly signed by their immediate supervisor that the calls were official in nature. – With Richmond Mercurio

ACIRC

CIRCULAR NO

COA

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

DIVISION CHIEF

MOBILE

OFFICIALS

PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY

POSTPAID

SUBSCRIPTION

WITH RICHMOND MERCURIO

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