THE province of Isabela has P235-million unliquidated cash advances, almost half of which is already unsettled for more than a year, the Commission on Audit (COA) disclosed.
State auditors raised a red flag on the undocumented monies of the province, which was one of the hardest hits when Typhoon Labuyo ravaged northern Luzon.
In the report of the Audit agency, the province was shown to have been lax with its P235.61 million advances to officers and employees as it remained unsettled as of 2012 yearend.
In addition, P108.58 million, or 46 percent of the multimillion cash “represents unliquidated cash advances for one year to more than three years.”
“This was mainly attributed to the granting of additional cash advances without requiring the settlement of previous cash advances,” COA found out.
In two annexes attached to the report, the Commission showed that at least 200 officers and employees had unsettled cash advances from the Trust Fund and General Fund.
A COA circular mandates any officers from settling their cash advances for salaries and wages within five days. For operating expenses, it should be liquidated 20 days after the end of the year. Advances for official travel should be cleared within 60 days for foreign travel and 30 days for local travel.
“The prescribed period of submitting liquidation reports as provided under the circular were not faithfully adhered to,” the report noted.
The Commission has been strict in urging government agencies to liquidate these advances since non-liquidation may hint sources of corruption.
Auditors wanted the provincial accountant to not allow the grant of additional cash advance for those with outstanding unliquidated balance.
The internal control unit should also require a copy of the subsidiary ledger showing that there was no unliquidated amount of an official or employee as basis in allowing the grant of the succeeding cash advance.
In a reply, the provincial accountant already sent out demand letters to the employees, requiring them to promptly submit liquidation papers of their outstanding cash advances.
The provincial capitol added that “substantial liquidation” was made and that they committed to pursue the liquidation of cash advances.
John Constantine G. Cord