REP. JOCELYN P. TULFO
Member, Committee on Social Services
https://www.facebook.com/jocelyntulfoinaction/ | 09177292437
As COVID-19 cases in the Philippines hit 50,000 mark
COA AUDIT OF BAYANIHAN ACT SPENDING, COVID-19 FOREIGN FUNDS SOUGHT
[$5.8 billion figure Presidential Spokesperson cited is far from the $7.76 billion DoF has disclosed]
I ask the Commission on Audit to urgently conduct a special audit of all the Bayanihan Act spending and of COVID-19 foreign loans, grants, and bonds. We want to be sure that all these funds were, are, and will be judiciously and properly spent for intended purposes.
According to news media reports, the Department of Finance secured $7.76 billion in foreign funds and that $5.11 billion of that total has been disbursed.
The COA audit should start very soon. Time is of the essence because very soon the budget hearings for 2021 budget will get underway and because the Bayanihan Act II is pending in Congress now.
The people and Congress must know all the details of these foreign loans, grants, and bonds and whether they were spent properly. The Commission on Audit is the constitutional body with the specific mandate on this matter.
COA must also sift through and leave no stone unturned as regards all the funds authorized under the Bayanihan Act.
The details of these funds are known only to a few in the DOF, DBM, and disbursing agencies. Outside of them, no one knows the complete picture and the nuts and bolts. This cannot be as a matter of transparency and full disclosure.
Not even the Presidential Spokesperson’s figures tallied with what the DOF has disclosed. Secretary Roque said $5.8 billion but what DOF has said is $7.8 billion. Perhaps, Secretary Roque should leave specialized topics to the real experts. A gap of two billion dollars is too wide to be considered a lapse or simple mistake. (END)
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