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Takaw naman! P48M spent for meals, snacks of Tarlac gov, vice gov

Oct 6, 2016 @ 11:59

The provincial government of Tarlac spent a whopping P48.2 million in taxpayers’ money to pay for meals and snacks of Governor Victor Yap and Vice Governor Enrique Cojuangco Jr. during their meetings in 2015, state auditors said.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the meals and snacks were improperly charged to representation expenses or other maintenance and other operating expenses accounts instead of charging these to the discretionary funds.

The COA said the expenses were excessive, and of “doubtful certainty” because of “inadequate planning and incomplete documentation to justify the transactions.”

“In the analysis of transactions, we noted that meals and snacks were served for routinary or regular meetings of Offices of the Governor, Vice-Governor, Sangguniang Panglalawigan and other offices and committees with amounts ranging from as low as P80,000 to as high as P498,236,” the auditors said.

The auditors said the provincial government did not utilize its 2015 discretionary fund of P359,546.95 for meals and snacks.

Because the budget officer kept on accepting requests for meals and snacks from the offices of the governor, vice governor and the Sanggunian, the amount for meals and snacks amounted to P48,275,638.78, the COA report said.

Such amount exceeded the P3,359,546.95 allotted to representation expenses and discretionary fund by P44,919,091.83.

“The foregoing conditions render the expenditures for meals and snacks excessive by P44,919,091.83,” the auditors said, citing an audit circular which defined the term “excessive expenditures” as expenditures that signify unreasonable expense or expenses incurred at immoderate quantity.

The COA urged Governor Yap and Vice Governor Cojuangco to exercise prudence in the utilization of resources intended for meals and snacks during meetings, personnel activities of the agency, and other activities, as well as observe the limitations or prohibitions for such expenditures.

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