State auditors directed the Philippine Normal University (PNU) to return P9.625 million to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for remittance to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTR).
The money is the unspent balance of funds released under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) for the upgrading of facilities and research, according to the 2014 audit report on the PNU System by the Commission on Audit (COA).
The COA said the money “was not returned to CHED for remittance to the Bureau of the Treasury despite the Supreme Court ruling declaring DAP as unconstitutional, hence depriving the government to use this fund for other projects.”
DAP, a stimulus package under the Aquino administration that aimed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth, was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) in July 2014.
“Our review of the subsidiary ledger on the three programs for implementation under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) from the transferred funds of CHED to PNU showed that as of June 30, 2014 it had an unspent balance of P9,625,008.01,” the auditors said.
Based on the audit report, the balance is broken down into P3,680,042.32 for the upgrading of facilities and P5,944,965.69 for Research and Development Program for Developing International Competitiveness in Teacher Education.
Despite the SC ruling, auditors said the President of PNU raised queries through a letter addressed to CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan dated February 23, 2015 on whether or not those funds allotted to specific project/s should be returned and to which rightful agency and if not, whether PNU should continue the projects specifically funded as planned.
“With the declaration that DAP is unconstitutional, the remaining balance of P9,625,008.01 is no longer eligible for use and should be returned to the National Treasury,” they said.
The COA told the university to immediately return the money to CHED in compliance with the High Court’s decision.