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COA warns government agencies with unliquidated cash advances

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MANILA, Philippines – The Audit Commission (COA) on Thursday issued an ultimatum to government agencies that have yet to liquidate their cash advances, saying appropriate lawsuits will be filed against them in two months.

ACO President Grace Pulido-Tan. PHOTO FILE

COA President Maria Grace Pulido-Tan told the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that some agencies have had unliquidated cash advances in the past 10 to 15 years and that a single agency could have around 1 billion pesos. of unliquidated cash advances.

“What we did two years ago, because when I arrived, I saw the billions in advances or in unsettled money transfers. So what we did, I said, we had better ask all these agencies one last time to do something. And we even published it in the newspaper, ”Tan said when the committee’s investigation of the“ pig barrel ”scam resumed.

She said there is a provision in criminal law that when someone receives a cash advance and has not been able to liquidate it within the prescribed time frame and within the limits of the request, ” there is already a presumption in law that this money has been embezzled “.

“So that’s what we did. I’m out, sabi ko, this is going to be a final request, anyone who has cash advances in hand has to liquidate already, ”Tan said.

The COA chief said they have a list of individuals and organizations that have not carried out the liquidation and are now reviewing the documents so they can bring the appropriate charges against them. .

“We were able to compile a list of these people and organizations that were not liquidated and we are now in the process of [selection] so that we can file the appropriate cases through the Office of the Ombudsman, ”she said.

“We wish we could be more expeditious, but as President Herbosa said, we have the same problem. We are not computerized. We are starting to computerize, but despite everything, we are doing our best to solve this problem, ”said Tan, referring to Teresita Herbosa, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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