COA: Optical Media Board illegally converted funds

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    THE Commission on Audit has slammed the Optical Media Board (OMB) for illegally converting its five percent share of proceeds from the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) as confidential funds.

    From 2016 to 2019, government auditors said the OMB received a total of P3.772 million from the MMFF which were released as cash advances to the Office of former OMB chairman Anselmo Adriano, who held the post from March 2016 to September 2020.

    In reaction to the adverse audit finding, the OMB under its new chairman, Christian Natividad, notified the COA that it has already discontinued the practice.

    The OMB, an agency under the Office of the President, is mandated to regulate the manufacture, copying, importation and export of optical media in all forms, including software and other contents in digital form.

    The COA noted that the General Appropriations Act for the years 2016 to 2019 did not include OMB among agencies with allocations of confidential fund.

    However, on April 1, 2016, the Board passed Resolution No. 16-04-05 which declared that OMB’s share of MMFF proceeds are to be used as confidential fund.

    “Audit of disbursement vouchers showed that the total amount of P3,772,431 …was disbursed as CF without authority from the GAA. OMB’s utilization of MMFF proceeds as CF was without authority/legal basis,” the audit team said.