The national government’s cash deposits could have increased by at least some P6.98 billion had collection efforts been enhanced through proper monitoring of government agencies’ year-end cash balances, state auditors said.
This observation was made in a 2014 report on the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) by the Commission on Audit (COA), wherein auditors said they reviewed and analyzed the cash-in-bank balance account of national government agencies (NGAs) as reported in COA’s 2012-2013 Annual Financial Report (AFR).
COA reported a total of P181.867 billion cash balances of 295 NGAs.
“Compared with CY 2012 reported cash balance of P139,237,730,750 from 292 NGAs an increase of P42,629,096,250 or 30.62 percent was noted,” the auditors said.
Based on the audit report, the top 10 NGAs with the highest cash level balances in banks for 2013 were State Universities and Colleges or SUCs (P38.748 million), Department of National Defense (P16.246 million), Department of Agriculture (P15.249 million), the Judiciary (P14.333 million), “Other Executive Offices” (P10.574 million), Department of Education (P10.480 million), DBM (P8.465 million), Department of Health (P7.064 million), Department of Foreign Affairs (P6.934 million), and the Commission on Elections (P6.283 million).
“Our analysis revealed that out of the reported P181,866,827 cash balances in CY [calendar year]2013, at least 54 NGAs had recommendations in audit to remit to the National Treasury their unutilized cash balances aggregating P6,982,595,794.85,” they said.
Under Executive Order (EO) 338, all government agencies are required to deposit their cash balances to the national treasury.
COA said the P6.98 billion cash balances represent unremitted income from regular operations, bank interest income, performance/bidders bond, dormant accounts, cash from unauthorized deposit accounts, unused project funds or balance of terminated projects’ funds, deposits from Letters of Credit, unused Notice of Cash Allocations (NCAs), unused Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)/Malampaya balances, unused fund transfers, unclaimed dividends, and other trust funds and donations.
Agencies with cash balances include the DBM, DepEd, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, DOF, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, Department of Labor and Employment, DND, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Social Welfare and Development-Office of the Secretary, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Land Transportation Office, Other Executive Offices, Presidential Communications Operations Office, SUCs, Office of the Ombudsman, and the Sandiganbayan.
State auditors noted that the nature of the remittances made to the national treasury last year “pertains mostly to cash balances of operations and collections and do not in any way include those that were recommended for return to the BTr due to being idle/unutilized or without authority to be maintained in banks.”
“Aware of the huge balances maintained in various AGDBs [Authorized Government Depository Banks] that can be of use by the national government, the COA has ably assisted the BTr in its function to monitor the remittances of said unutilized, dormant and excess cash or income in banks,” they said. “Without serious efforts on the part of the BTr as collecting agent for the government, unutilized cash balances will tend to accumulate every year rather than be used to augment government scarce resources to meet national expenditures.”