THE Commission on Audit has called the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) to task over its car loan program that allows its executives to charge the cost against the agency’s capital outlay even if the vehicle ends up as the official’s personal asset.
Government auditors said the PRA Board passed Resolution No. 4554 in 2015 approving the Modified Car Loan Program Guidelines/Mechanics for eligible officers and employees with salary grades 24 or higher. Under the program, the loan is payable to a maximum period of six years with 12 percent simple interest until the loan is paid in full.
“It is our view that the transaction of this nature should not be charged against Capital Outlay of the Government or PRA, on the ground that the car will not be owned by the Government,” the audit team said.
It noted that under Executive Order No. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987, capital outlay is defined as an appropriation for the purchase of goods and services whose benefits extend beyond the fiscal years which adds to the assets of the government.
“Using corporate funds intended for capital outlay per DBM (Department of Budget and Management) approved Corporate Operating Budget to finance a car loan is not allowed by law,” the COA pointed out.
The audit also found that PRA officers who availed of the car loans are already entitled to transportation allowance to take care of their needs to get to and from work. For this reason, the audit team said they should no longer be allowed to avail of the car loan.
Review of the previous years’ availments showed mounting uncollected loan payments with P7.552 million already unmoving or dormant for 10 years as of December 31, 2018.
Among those who have unsettled accountabilities were former members of the PRA Board, a former general manager and six other officers who are no longer connected to the agency.