71 SUCs fail to liquidate P2.8 B in DAP funds

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Seventy-one state universities and colleges (SUCs) have yet to account for P2.851 billion in funds given to them for the implementation of various programs and projects under the Aquino administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that was partially declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court more than two years ago.

The Commission on Audit (COA), in a 2015 report released yesterday, said the failure of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to monitor and enforce liquidation should be addressed.

State auditors noted that CHED actually transferred P3.920 billion in DAP funds to 121 SUCs and their campuses for infrastructure and facilities upgrading, students’ grants-in-aid and research development and extension projects.

But as of Dec. 31, 2015, the amount of P2.851 billion or 71 percent remained unliquidated. 

The COA report said the biggest chunk of unliquidated funds totaling P1.340 billion was given to SUCs in the National Capital Region (NCR), followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with P965.142 million and Region 11 with P87.779 million.

“The failure of CHED and the source agencies (SAs) to strictly monitor and enforce liquidation of fund transfer balance of P2,851,285,352.24 from the 71 participating institutions is contrary to the MOA (memorandum of agreement) and COA Circular No. 94-013,” state auditors said.

“This notwithstanding that the unutilized DAP funds are required to be returned to the SAs/National Treasury pursuant to the SC decision promulgated on July 1, 2014 which was modified on Feb. 3, 2015,” the audit team added.

State auditors called on CHED to demand the immediate liquidation and return of unused balances of the transferred funds from the 71 SUCs.

In response, agency officials said CHED already sent 131 demand letters to the SUCs and a total of P929,079,234.66 was recorded as liquidation and or settlement from January to May 2016.

CHED management told COA that continuous follow-ups were being carried out to fully settle the unliquidated DAP funds.

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