Based on the COA’s annual audit report uploaded on its website yesterday, a total of P16.747 billion was allotted to the Office of the President (OP) for 2017 but only 51 percent or P8.572 billion has been disbursed as of yearend, leaving a balance of P8.174 billion.
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Government saves P7.28 billion from ASEAN hosting budget
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte spent only half of the P16.747-billion budget that Congress allocated to his office for 2017, with the bulk of the unused amount intended for the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Summit in November last year.

Based on the COA’s annual audit report uploaded on its website yesterday, a total of P16.747 billion was allotted to the Office of the President (OP) for 2017 but only 51 percent or P8.572 billion has been disbursed as of yearend, leaving a balance of P8.174 billion.

In effect, the Duterte administration saved much and did not splurge as ASEAN Summit host.

COA’s figures show that the bulk, or P7.285 billion, of the unspent amount was allocated for the OP’s pegged expenditures for the hosting of the ASEAN Summit, which coincided with the association’s 50th founding anniversary.

Congress allocated to the OP a total of P11.074 billion for the country’s hosting of the ASEAN Summit and other related activities for the ASEAN anniversary celebration, but only 34 percent or P3.789 billion was used. 

“The low utilization of the approved budget was due to the reduction of cost in the (hosting) of ASEAN 2017,” the COA report read.

Unliquidated cash advances

In the same audit report, the COA called out the OP over the failure of some of its officials and employees to liquidate their cash advances totaling P6.426 million.

Records show that P6,426,912.83 in cash advances remain unliquidated by OP officials and employees as of last Dec. 31. The unliquidated cash advances span the administrations of Duterte and his predecessor Benigno Aquino III.

The COA’s breakdown shows that the unliquidated cash advances of P5.495 million remain outstanding for less than a year, P844,820 for more than one year but less than three years and P86,988.92 for three years and beyond.

The report said the cash advances granted to officers and employees were for their “official local and foreign travels and for expenses in connection with the implementation of various projects and activities.”

Furthermore, the COA said there was also a total of P447,275 unused cash advances due for refund, which remain outstanding for less than one year to more than three years.

ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COMMISSION ON AUDIT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
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