THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has accumulated P57.6 million of unliquidated cash advances as of 2012 yearend, of which most part of it were used for field operating expenses and foreign travel.
The Commission on Audit (COA) disclosed in its report that the yearend balance of the “Advances to Officers and Employees” stands at P57.6 million, with field operating expenses forming the biggest with P52.68 million.
Unliquidated advances for foreign travel is at P2.6 million; local travel at P2.04 million; while trainings and seminars at P278,133.04.
Among these unsettled cash, P30.97 million were incurred less than 30 days from the actual audit. A total of P24.5 million was made between a month to a year from the audit.
Meanwhile, almost 4 percent out of the P57.6 million or P2.12 million were made between 2011 and earlier.
“It was further observed that some of the officials or employees who are already retired, on absence without leave status or resigned still have unliquidated cash advances totaling P462,750.62,” the report read.
Although Coast Guard officials said that they require retiring or resigning employees full settlement of their cash advances before job clearances, there were instances “when the subsidiary records or ledgers of cash advances were not updated.”
Additional advances were also allowed without requiring the settlement of previous cash advances which resulted in the accumulation of cash advances.
State accountants observed that PCG already issued a memorandum ordering its ranks to settle the accounts but this was “not complied with.”
“No succeeding demand letters or follow-ups were made, thus the settlement was not aggressively enforced,” the audit team bared.
COA asked the Coast Guard to demand from its employees and officials the clearance of unliquidated cash advances and to hold the salaries of those with pending accounts.
Coast Guard officials updated the COA that a total of P47.29 has been slashed from the P57.6 million, leaving P10.31 million more without settlement.
The PCG also added that the increase in the balance of the unliquidated cash advances was due to the strict implementation of the documentary requirements by the Coast Guard Internal Audit, wherein some of the liquidation reports were returned for completion of lacking documents. JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON