State auditors have reiterated their recommendation for the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to stop granting cash advances to its officers and employees until previous cash advances are settled.
Based on a 2014 audit report by the Commission on Audit (COA), the NCMF’s unliquidated cash advances totaled P90.66 million as of year-end 2014.
“Delayed liquidation of cash advances as well as grant of additional CAs even if the previous CAs were not yet liquidated resulted in the accumulation of unliquidated CAs totaling P90,660,690.70 as of December 31, 2014, contrary to Section 89 of PD [Presidential Decree] 1445 and COA Circular 97-002 dated February 10, 1997,” the auditors said.
Section 89 of PD 1445 (State Audit Code) and the COA circular provide, among others, that a cash advance shall be reported on and liquidated as soon as it has served its purpose.
These also provide that no additional cash advance shall be allowed to any official or employee unless the previous cash advance given to him is first settled or a proper accounting of it is made.
Under Section 5 of COA Circular 97-002, the accountable officer shall liquidate his cash advance for official travel within 60 days after return to the country in case of foreign travel and within 30 days after return to his permanent official station in case of local travel.
Cash advance for salaries and wages shall be liquidated within five days after each 15 day/end of the month pay period.
“Records disclosed that as of December 31, 2014, unliquidated cash advances amounted to P90,660,690.70 composed of 33 percent or P62,728,372.84 granted in the current year and 46 percent or P27,932,317.86 from previous years,” the auditors said.
Based on the audit report, the beginning balance of unliquidated cash advances was P61.237 million in January 1, 2014, broken down into P7.578 million representing advances for payroll and P53.66 million representing advances to officers and employees.
The NCMF then granted P192.474 million cash advances in 2014 of which P129.746 million was liquidated, thus leaving P62.728 million unliquidated.
Further, it was able to liquidate P33.305 million of the P61.237 million representing prior years’ cash advances, leaving P27.932 million unliquidated.
Cash advances totaling P90,660,690.70 remained unliquidated at year-end 2014.
“As a result of demand letters sent by management and the Audit Team to officers and employees who were granted CA, at least P33,305,133.62 or 54 percent of P61,237,451.48 was liquidated pertaining to prior years unliquidated cash advances,” the auditors said.
They noted, however, that the unliquidated cash advance for Calendar Year 2014 rose by P29,423,239.22 or 48 percent as compared with the balance of P61,237,451.48 in CY 2013 despite the decrease in prior years’ cash advances.
“Verifications disclosed that the accumulation of unliquidated cash advances were due to the practice of management to grant CAs despite the non-liquidation of the previous CA and the failure of the accountable officers to liquidate their CAs within the reglamentary period in violation of Section 89 of PD 1445 and Section 5 of COA Circular 97-002 dated February 10, 1997,” the auditors said.
They then made a reiteration of prior years’ recommendations for the NCMF to require all accountable officers to “settle/liquidate immediately their cash advances within the reglamentary period when the purpose for which the cash advances were granted had been served.”
The auditors said their recommendation that the NCMF instruct its chief accountant to withhold salaries of accountable officers who failed to liquidate their cash advances on due dates and until the liquidation is completed, and to “refrain to grant CAs if there are still unliquidated CAs of the accountable officers.”