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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) called out the Department of Education (DepEd) over its “irregular, unnecessary, excessive, and extravagant” spending in 2018.
This involved P316.62 million spent on trainings and other activities held at resorts and tourist spots.
“The trainings/seminars and midyear/annual planning and assessment activities conducted in lavish resorts and tourist spot locations that entailed higher cost were against the existing government thrust of judicious and prudent use of government funds,” state auditors said.
COA, in its audit report, noted that the transactions went against guidelines on government spending, including Presidential Decree No. 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines and COA Circular No. 2012-003.
Under the circular, an expense is tagged as unnecessary if it does not adhere to the government agency’s mandate, irregular when it does not follow rules, extravagant when committed without restraint, and excessive when it goes beyond limits.
The DepEd Central Office, according to the audit report, spent the biggest with P312.15 million on trainings and seminars.
COA also flagged several DepEd regional offices, including DepEd Cagayan Valley, DepEd Western Visayas, DepEd Northern Mindanao, DepEd Caraga, and DepEd National Capital Region.
According to the report, the DepEd agreed to “refrain from conducting out-of-town meetings/seminars/conferences unless extremely necessary” to cut costs.
It also vowed to follow the COA recommendation to use existing facilities as venues. – Rappler.com