COA President Says Red Cross Audit Beyond Jurisdiction


Philippine Red Cross Mobile Immunization Clinic. Handout

MANILA – The Audit Commission (COA) has no authority to audit the Philippine Red Cross, which is a non-governmental humanitarian organization, its chief said on Friday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the agency to probe the NGO’s finances after its chairman, Senator Richard Gordon, launched a Senate investigation into the government’s questionable supply agreements in the event of pandemic.

“Yes, we confirm that we do not have the competence to audit the organization. The only thing we can audit are the payments from Philhealth to the Red Cross, but in this case what we are actually auditing is this. It is Philhealth that makes these payments, ”said Michael, COA chairman. Aguinaldo told lawmakers on Friday during a House hearing.

Duterte lashed out at Gordon on Thursday for leading a Senate investigation into alleged overpriced medical equipment purchased by the government in 2020.

The investigation focuses on the government’s purchase of multibillion-worth pandemic equipment from a company run by suspected fugitives in Taiwan who are believed to have ties to the president’s former adviser.

COA SAYS THE WORK CONTINUES

Meanwhile, at the same hearing, COA said Duterte’s tirades against them will not affect the way they fulfill their tenure.

“Committed naman po ang Audit Commission to continue the work we are doing. kasing control ang ating doon auditors, ”Aguinaldo said.

“As long as they continue to act in a responsible and fair manner, they are fully committed to continuing the work which is mandated to us by the Constitution,” he added.

Duterte has repeatedly criticized the COA for its findings of “deficiency” on how the health ministry handled more than 60 billion pesos of its pandemic budget last year.

The COA is asking Congress for a budget of 14.46 billion pesos for 2022, an increase of 396.33 million pesos from its 2021 allocation.

Rodrigo Duterte, Richard Gordon, Red Cross, COA, Audit Commission, Politics, Philhealth, Blue Ribbon Senate


Comments are closed.