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Quezon hospitals poor accounting practices trouble COA

Sep 27, 2019 @ 13:27

by Allan Yves Briones

Failure to regularly remit collections, properly appropriate funds and maintain cashbooks by various hospitals in Quezon have left the Commission on Audit (COA) worried about possible loss or misuse of government funds.

State auditors flagged 13 district and community hospitals, particularly Bondoc Peninsula District Hospital (BPDH).

In the 2018 annual audit report, COA cited the hospitals’ collecting officers in their “habitual” failure to remit collections to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office regularly and promptly, contrary to law.

Section 29 of the Manual on the New Government Accounting System for Local Government Units require collectors to remit collections at least once a week or as soon as they reach P5,000.

However, the post-audit revealed that collecting officers posted delays between three to 86 days – the worst occurring at Magsaysay Memorial District Hospital (58-86 days), Gumaca District Hospital (37-55 days) and BPDH (26-60 days).

In addition, BDPH was called out for utilizing collections for payment of daily marketing expenses, including food supplies for its patients, which it explained was due to the absence of on-hand funds.

“We understand their notion that waiting for the checks to be released for the food supplies would impair their operations, or would result in hunger to their patients, but it is still a violation of the procedures laid down by law,” COA said.

A review of the cash accounts of the hospitals also revealed that BPDH and Sampaloc Medicare Community Hospital did not maintain or prepare cashbooks to record collections and remittances.

COA ordered that Quezon’s finance officers compel prompt remittance of collections to avoid misuse, theft and misappropriation, as well as coordination with the hospital chiefs to ensure proper disbursement of government funds.

Also named in the report are following hospitals and their collecting officers:

Unisan Medicare Community Hospital (7-17 days)
Mauban District Hospitals (6-8 days)
Guinayangan Medicare Community Hospital (20-25 days)
Claro M. Recto Memorial District Hospital (7-21 days)
San Francisco Municipal Hospital (6-32 days)
San Narciso Municipal Hospital (7-15 days)
Alabat Island District Hospital (6-18 days)
Maria Eleazar District Hospital (3-12 days)
Doña Marta Memorial District Hospital (4-10 days)

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