The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) made various disbursements totaling P193.68 million in 2019 despite incomplete documentation.
This was revealed by government auditors in the 2019 audit of the NCMF, an attached agency of the Office of the President mandated to promote and preserve the welfare of Muslim Filipinos.
Government auditors said the covered transactions violated provisions of Presidential Decree No 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines and the Commission on Audit Circular No. 2012-001, which both require that all claims against public funds should be backed by complete documents.
“Expenditures totaling to P193,684,440.70 for the CY 2019 were not supported with complete documentation. (I)n case of failure to submit the required documents or information needed to reach an audit decision, an NS/ND/NC (notice of suspension, notice of disallowance or notice of charge) may be issued by the auditor as warranted,” the COA said.
Among the questioned disbursements were the payment of salaries and wages by the NCMF-Central Office amounting to P139.203 million, payment of terminal leave benefits of P12.687 million, payment of representation and transportation allowances (RATA) in the sum of P9.076 million, and payment of overtime services P1.288 million.
Likewise flagged in audit was the payment of salaries and wages by NCMF Region 12-A totaling P12.058 million.
The audit team said even the most basic documents that should have accompanied the payroll papers were not produced ,including the plantilla of personnel, the daily time records (DTRs), and the biometric DTR.
“It is mandatory for the management to require the concerned officials to substantiate their claims with proper and complete documentation. In this case, non-submission of DVs (disbursement vouchers) may result to an issuance of a notice of suspension,” the COA said.
A notice of suspension requires the agency to submit the necessary support documents within a set time. Failure to meet the deadline causes the notice of suspension to ripen into a notice of disallowance which will require officials held liable to reimburse the entire sum in favor of the government.
Notified of the audit observation, the NCMF agreed to require the accountant and other responsible officials to “strictly comply with the required submission of the documents to comply with PD 1445.”
In a separate finding, the COA also questioned the insufficiency of documents to support the validity of the payments made by the special disbursing officer (SDO) totaling P25.83 million in relation to the travel of pilgrims for the Hajj.
Of the total P73.93 million spent by the NCMF, the COA said P25.826 million was not supported by documents.
This include P25.7 million paid for the hotel accommodation of the pilgrims and the travel allowance of P126,226.
“No official receipt was presented instead (MCMF) submitted the billing statement and the acknowledgement receipt issue by the service provider,” it added.