THE Commission on Audit has expressed concern following the discovery that seven of the country’s biggest fish ports are not recorded in the list of assets of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA).
In the 2018 audit of the PFDA, state auditors noted that the agency listed assets totaling only P24.472 million under its Investment Property -Land Account.
A review of the records revealed that seven of major fish ports covering a combined area of 106.8 hectares were not recorded in the books. Of these, only three have designated market values and three do not even have tax declaration documents.
Not listed in PFDA’s books as of December 31, 2018 are Navotas Fish Port Complex (43 has) – P300.122 million; Iloilo Fish Port Complex in Tanza, Iloilo (20.3 has) – P229.902 million; Davao Fish Port Complex in Toril, Davao City (4.9 has) – P14.722 million; Zamboanga Fish Port Complex in Sangali, Zamboanga del Sur (12.5 has) – for survey and appraisal; Lucena Fish Port Complex in Lucena, Quezon (8.7 has) – no tax declaration; Sual Fish Port Complex in Sual, Pangasinan (3.2 has) – no tax declaration; and Bulan Fish Port Complex in BUlan, Sorsogon (13.5 has) – no tax declaration.
The PFDA management informed the COA that it has issued Special Order No. 033 creating the Real Property Team “to ensure that all real properties within the territorial boundaries of the regional operating units, municipal fish ports and other real property” of the PFDA are properly accounted for and registered in its name.
The audit team reminded the PFDA that under the Philippine Accounting Standards, investment properties are supposed to be recognized as assets in anticipation that future economic benefits associated with such property will flow to the agency.
“PFDA is the rightful owner of the land of NFPC and the other fish port complexes. However, the 106.8 hectares of land where the various fish ports in the country are located were not recorded in the Authority’s book of accounts,” auditors said.
This meant that the Investment Property and Equity accounts of the PFDA are both understated equivalent to the appraised values of the said lands.
Only the lot occupied by a non-operational ice plant in Legaspi City, the General Santos City Fish Port Complex, and the Camaligan Fish Port Complex were listed in the books with a total assessed value of P24.472 million.
The COA urged the PFDA to conduct an inventory of the unlisted fish port land areas through its Property Division and to hire an independent appraiser to establish the fair market value of the four that have not been assessed.