Rodrigo Duterte

Contrary to Duterte’s claims: No red flags in House audits, says COA

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Contrary to Duterte’s claims: No red flags in House audits, says COA

LOWER HOUSE. The House of Representatives opens its second regular session on Monday morning, July 24, 2023.

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State auditors certify that the House of Representatives did not receive any notice of suspension, notice of disallowance, or notice of charge from 2017 to 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives received “clean audits” during the six-year term of former president Rodrigo Duterte, records from the Commission on Audit (COA) showed.

A clean audit means that state auditors did not find any material misstatements.

Duterte earlier alleged that state auditors spared the chamber from scrutiny, but annual audit reports for the lower chamber from 2017 to 2022 revealed there were no adverse findings observed in the House’s transactions.

State auditors, in some instances, only reminded the legislative body about delays in the submission of its documents.

“For CY 2022 and prior years, no notice of suspension, notice of disallowance, and notice of charge was issued,” COA said in its latest audit on the House.

Receiving any of the three notices means there were notable red flags in the financial records of the institution.

The COA also certified that the House did not benefit from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) Fund over the said six-year period.

State auditors also commended the chamber for timely remittance of employees’ contributions towards their pension or retirement plans, and providing “suitable facilities” for vulnerable sectors.

Duterte previously questioned the House’s receipt of funds classified as “extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses,” but these are publicly auditable, unlike the confidential funds that his daughter Vice President Sara Duterte received in 2022 and 2023.

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The House has P1.6 billion in extraordinary expenses for 2023, but the chamber said these are used to finance training activities, scholarships, travel, and other supplies, as well as for emergency purposes, such as helping during disasters.

The House, which was fighting back after Duterte called the chamber the “most rotten” in government, previously issued a resolution seeking to uphold the lower chamber’s integrity and honor, and to express appreciation, solidarity, and support for the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez.

The former president’s tirades against the House came after the chamber denied his daughter’s request for confidential funds in 2024. – Rappler.com

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