“We recommended that the management formulate specific guidelines for the receipt, utilization and liquidation of donated Marawi funds intended for wounded... personnel and in accordance with such guidelines, utilize it fully for the timely benefit of such personnel,” the COA said in its annual report.
Jaime Laude
Distribute unused Marawi donations to soldiers — COA
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - July 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Saying P47.63 million in donations remains unutilized, the Commission on Audit (COA) has directed the Philippine Army to speed up the distribution of cash assistance to troopers wounded in the fighting with Maute militants in Marawi in 2017.

“We recommended that the management formulate specific guidelines for the receipt, utilization and liquidation of donated Marawi funds intended for wounded... personnel and in accordance with such guidelines, utilize it fully for the timely benefit of such personnel,” the COA said in its annual report.

The Office of the Army Adjutant reported that 1,465 Army soldiers were wounded in the fighting, none of whom was given financial assistance, according to the COA.

The audit body had earlier called out the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for granting measly financial assistance to soldiers who fought in Marawi, noting that only P23.14 million of the P235.027 million in donations was distributed to those wounded and the families of those who died in the battle.

Overpayment

The COA also flagged the Army for an excess of P9.98 million in financial assistance to the families of 118 of its personnel killed in Marawi.

It cited AFP’s Letter Directive 30 dated July 31, 2017, which states that the legal beneficiaries of slain soldiers shall receive P1 million each.

A review of the Army’s disbursement vouchers show that the beneficiaries of 117 of the fatalities received P1.085 million each while at least one family got P1.035 million.

“We recommended that management... justify the overpayment,” the audit agency said.

COA records show that P128.49 million of the P147.262 million that the Army received from the AFP as assistance for the beneficiaries of the slain soldiers had been utilized.

The audit body said failure to craft specific guidelines on proper utilization of the fund is a “contributing factor” in the slow distribution of assistance.

COMMISSION ON AUDIT PHILIPPINE ARMY
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