Busuanga reacts to COA audit findings

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The Busuanga municipal government is set to serve official notices to accountable officers concerning “unliquidated” cash advances made over the 2020 local spending.

Eunice Tibudan, the island town’s municipal accountant, in a message to Palawan News, clarified that the audit report flagging “doubtful” and “unidentified” expenditure in the past year’s financial statement were already addressed by the municipal government.

“[’Yong] notice this year ay ise-serve mga first week ng July. May mga na-email kaming reply kay COA. Ongoing ito. Verify ko pa mga unidentified reconciling items. Kung ano ‘yong nakalagay sa recommendation ng COA ‘yon ang gagawin namin,” Tibudan told Palawan News on Friday morning.

The statement came in light of the news report published by Palawan News on Thursday, involving the Commission on Audit (COA) 2020 report noting that cash advances by certain Busuanga local officials were made without following the right process.

The state auditors, in its May 14 annual report, a copy of which was only disclosed to public on May 31, said certain collections were supposed to have been deposited but were “unreconciled” in the accounting books.

Tibudan also said that the recommendations by the state auditors were being addressed, including the valuation of the three infrastructure projects completed in 2020, pointing out that three projects amounting to P10.48 million were still recorded as “in progress”.

“’Yong three projects completed na siya kaya sabi ni COA i-transfer ko na siya sa appropriate account kasi nakita naka-in progress pa. May mga list kami ng property plant and equipment, pati kung sino ang accountable official dun. Preparation of ledger is ongoing,” Tibudan added.

Tibudan also noted that the “doubtful” unrecorded deposits amounting to P7.7 million, which was offset without proof, required no liquidation since those were not withdrawals from the government fund.

“Hindi po withdrawal ‘yon. Deposit ‘yon so wala ng need na i-liquidate,” Tibudan said.

This, after COA has questioned the Busuanga municipal government for its “unidentified” and “unliquidated” spending in the 2020 financial report.

“The accuracy of the year-end balance of P66 million is doubtful due to doubtful reconciliation process manifested by elimination from [bank statement] of unrecorded deposits totaling P7.7 by offsetting them with items and non-submission of supporting documents,” wrote COA supervising auditor Norma Racelis in a letter addressed to Busuanga town mayor Elizabeth Cervantes on May 12.

Tibudan added that the state auditors’ recommendations were being addressed to clarify the concerns raised.

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