Masbate ordered to settle, sue for P65M unliquidated cash advances anew
by Allan Yves Briones
The provincial government of Masbate has been tasked to sort out its books, after an audit revealed P65 million in outstanding cash advances dating as far back as 2008.
According to the annual audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA), out of the total unliquidated balance, 45.91 percent or P29.84 million were aged over one to 10 years by the end of the year.
“Out of this, the amount of P10.46 million was already dormant as of reporting date,” COA added.
Section 89 of Presidential Decree No. 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines mandates that cash advances be reported on and liquidated “as soon as the purpose for which it was given has been served.”
In addition, Section 5 of COA Circular No. 92-002 prescribes the periods for such liquidation, up to a maximum of 60 days for foreign travel expenditures.
State auditors warned that the same observation has been noted in previous audits, but cash advances remain unsettled – part of which even belonging to officers and employees who are no longer connected with the provincial government.
“Non-liquidation of cash advances within the prescribed period is not only contrary to the aforementioned provisions but it also resulted in (the overstatement and understatement of local accounts),” COA added.
The state auditing agency advised Masbate local officials to send demand letters to the delinquent employees and officers, and undertake legal action or the recovery of the cash advances.
According to the Provincial Accountant, as stated in the report, continuous demands for the liquidation of the accounts have been made, promising strict compliance with the existing rules and regulations in the future.