State auditors have asked the Philippine Navy (PN) to properly monitor and ensure the timely payment of the electric and water billings of some of its units, after that branch of the military incurred over P1 million in penalties and charges in 2013 because of late payment.
In a 2013 audit report on the Navy, the Commission on Audit (COA) said that delayed payment of the electric and water bills of some naval operating units resulted in penalties and charges amounting to P1.02 million.
Auditors said it “is a clear wastage of the government funds, contrary to Section 2 of PD 1445,” referring to the State Audit Code.
Under the said law, it is a policy of the State that all government resources are managed, spent or used in accordance with law and regulations, and safeguarded against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition to ensure efficiency, economy and effectiveness in operations.
“The responsibility to take care that such policy is faithfully adhered to rests directly with the chief or head of the government agency concerned,” it stated.
State auditors said that “Sound fiscal management dictates that obligations shall be settled on or before due dates to avoid penalties and charges.”
Based on the breakdown of expenses for the penalties and charges in the audit report, the Headquarters Philippine Navy (HPN) incurred the most with P426,483.22.
The Naval Forces Western Mindanao incurred P320,911.85 while the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, P176,888.12.
Naval Forces Southern Luzon incurred P76,884.51 and the Naval Forces Northern Luzon, P19,719.73.
“The expenses paid by HPN pertain to the penalties and charges of PN operating units outside Metro Manila. These penalties and charges were incorporated in the monthly billing statements issued by the electric and water cooperatives/companies,” COA explained.