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DAR tagged for P2.86-B unliquidated funds

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The Commission on Audit (CoA) has flagged Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for P2.86-billion unliquidated cash advances and fund transfers to implementing agencies, non-government organization (NGO) and provincial office (PO).

In its annual audit report, CoA found out that P11.693-million in cash advances was granted to officers and employees, P2.85-billion fund transfers to implementing agencies, NGO and PO, and P2.71-million other receivables “already due for liquidation but remained outstanding and aged more than three months to over two years.”

CoA noted that of the P11.693-million cash advances, DAR Provincial Office (DARPO) Surigao del Norte has petty cash balance of P55,758.19 outstanding for two to over 15 years. The audit agency said P46,372.69 of the petty cash balance was unliquidated cash advances of accountable officers no longer affiliated with the agency.

According to CoA, DARPO Surigao del Norte should have also taken up the P47,482.69 account balance as Advances to Special Disbursing Officers because the funds were granted for special purpose or time-bound undertakings.

For the balance of advances given to officers and employees, P45,580 of the P57,950 has been long overdue for liquidation because the accountable officers are “no longer in service and left the DARPO without securing clearance.”

For DARPO Surigao del Sur, CoA said the provincial office has an outstanding balance of P293,580.90 which remained unliquidated for a period ranging just over a year up to 10 years.

“P231,490.90 pertains to cash advances granted to 13 Accountable Officers who are no longer in service while P62,090 refers to the unliquidated cash advances of two employees who are still connected with the DARPO,” the CoA report said.

Moreover, DAR Regional Office XIII, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur incurred delays in the liquidation of P470,534.64 cash advances by 68 employees.

CoA pointed out that accountable officers are required to liquidate the cash advance salaries, or wages within five days after each 15-day or end of the month period. For official travels, the liquidation period is 60 days after returning to the county for foreign trip and 30 days for local travel.

The audit agency added that the rules also required all cash advances to be “fully liquidated at the end of the year.”

The CoA also called out the unliquidated fund transfers to implementing agencies and NGO/PO including the DARPO Ifugao as well as P2,344,088 fund transfers in Surigao del Sur which remained unliquidated despite the completion and turnover of projects to the beneficiaries.

CoA asked DAR to require the accountants of concerned offices to monitor the status of the receivable accounts, provide status of follow-up and proper actions. DAR Heads were also reminded to implement sanctions for non-compliance of the concerned officers and employees of the agency.

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