Leni Robredo

Robredo’s office earns highest COA rating for 3rd straight year in 2020

Mara Cepeda

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Robredo’s office earns highest COA rating for 3rd straight year in 2020

THE WORKING VP. Vice President Leni Robredo delivers a speech on February 8, 2021.

Office of the Vice President

Vice President Leni Robredo says the stellar rating from COA was 'hard to achieve' due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vice President Leni Robredo’s office has received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit (COA) in 2020, marking the third consecutive year that her office earned this rating. 

In a statement on Tuesday, June 29, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) said COA once again gave its “unqualified opinion” in response to its financial report in 2020. The OVP cited the Independent Auditor’s Report dated June 15. 

The full copy of COA’s audit report on the OVP, however, has not yet been uploaded on the agency’s website as of posting of this story. 

This is the third year in a row that the OVP received the highest audit rating, which COA gives when a government office has fairly presented its financial position and has its financial statements in order, in accordance with the Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards.

For Robredo, receiving COA’s “unqualified opinion” in 2020 is even more significant for the OVP as it was harder to achieve during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Napakahirap ma-achieve nito during the pandemic, considering na ang daming mga hindi na predict na gastos, kasi ‘yung budget was prepared pre-pandemic pa,” the Vice President said on her Facebook page. 

(This was really hard to achieve during the pandemic, considering there were a lot of expenses we weren’t able to predict, since the budget was prepared pre-pandemic.)

Robredo has received widespread praise for running quick, effective, and inclusive COVID-19 response programs despite her office’s measly budget. On Tuesday, the Vice President said the OVP “did not allow bureaucratic red tape” to get in the way of their pandemic response initiatives. 

She then thanked all the staff in the OVP, whom she credits for the stellar rating they received from COA. 

The OVP improved its financial reports to COA in 2018 and 2019 compared to its submissions in previous years.

In 2017, COA had pointed out delays in the liquidation of office trip expenses, as well as unused or excess cash advances that were not immediately refunded by Robredo’s staff.

In 2016, the audit commission said the OVP underspent in its financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. The first half of that year was the windup of the tenure of then-vice president Jejomar Binay, while the newly elected Robredo took over in the next six months. 

In 2015, COA had also flagged multiple procurements of relief goods under Binay which went through negotiated contracts and not through public biddings. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.