COA flags PDEA travel expenses worth P74-M missing documentation

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2019 09:10 PM

MANILA—The Commission on Audit (COA) flagged travel expenses incurred by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) amounting to P74 million that were not supported by documents.

According to the 2018 annual audit report, P22.45 million worth of travel expenses were without documents, including — office/travel order, duly approved itinerary of travel, paper/electronic ticket, boarding pass, terminal fee, certificate of appearance, certification as to the absolute necessity of the expense and certificate of travel completed.

Meanwhile, the amount of P51.83 million did not come with official receipts.

“The incomplete documentation of the transactions, aside from non-adherence to existing rules and regulations, rendered difficulty in ascertaining the propriety, necessity and validity of the transactions,” the COA report said.

A copy of the report was received by the office of PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino on May 30.

The agency agreed to the recommendations of the auditors to direct its accountant to ensure that the documentary requirements will be submitted to the audit team, as noted in the COA report.

PDEA management also agreed to require the claimants of travel expenses to submit official receipts and to “refrain from payment without complete documentation of the previous ones.”

The COA report also said that the PDEA has already implemented the recommendations made in 2017 by the audit team on the safekeeping, handling and monitoring of the movement of dangerous drugs.

Security features such as closed-circuit television cameras were also installed and the audit team was able to access the evidence room of the agency.

“The grant of access to COA personnel to a restricted PDEA facility is PDEA’s way of showing transparency,” the COA report noted.

The full audit report on PDEA can be found on the COA website.