MANILA — The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Tuesday denied that it has failed to act on the recommendation of the Commission on Audit (COA) to file charges against erring officials involved in the misuse of PHP38.8 million worth of funds for the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEA) summit in 2017.
PCOO Chief of Staff and Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Marvin Gatpayat clarified that contrary to news reports the agency has filed charges against officials since 2018.
“To the contrary, the PCOO has issued a formal charge against the erring PCOO officer for the gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service on 24 September 2018,” Gatpayat said in a statement.
“The administrative case is now being heard before the Adjudication Committee of the PCOO,” he added.
Gatpayat said the PCOO also submitted its Fact-Finding Report on several former PCOO officials to the Office of the Ombudsman for its consideration and appropriate action on November 8, 2018.
Moreover, he said the PCOO has also submitted its Agency Action Plan and Status of Implementation for 2017 Audit Memorandum containing the latest updates on the actions taken based on COA’s recommendations on June 23, 2019 “to properly update the COA and clarify the issue.”
Gatpayat, meanwhile, assured that the agency will “never tolerate” any irregular actions of its officers and employees and vowed to cooperate with the COA should it seek further clarification on its disbursements.
“The PCOO is one with the Commission on Audit in ensuring that government funds are properly utilized,” Gatpayat said.
In its 2018 report, the COA flagged the PCOO for its “failure to conduct post-qualification evaluation” for the funds which represent 17.7 percent of the total audited Asean fund worth PHP219.24 million. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com