PCOO clarifies non-liquidation of ‘Yolanda’ fund for employees

MANILA The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Friday clarified the disbursement of funds for employees affected by the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in 2013 after the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the fund's non-liquidation.

It said some 20 employees from attached agencies under the PCOO, who were victims of the typhoon and the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the Visayas in 2013, were given financial assistance in 2015 amounting to PHP1.3 million, broken down into two equal tranches, by the Office of the President (OP).

The OP transferred the first tranche of PHP685,000 to the PCOO, which in turn distributed the funds to the beneficiaries.

"It was only through the efforts of COA that the PCOO under the current administration was made aware of the shortcomings of the previous administration to liquidate the first tranche and distribute the second tranche, brought by the administration transition and lack of turn over," the PCOO said in a statement.

With regard to the non-liquidation of the first tranche, the PCOO, under the current administration, said it has already submitted the liquidation in the first quarter of 2019.

On the non-release of financial assistance to one beneficiary, it reported that the previous administration found out that two of the beneficiaries are a married couple and share one household.

The PCOO said it cannot distribute financial assistance to both who share one household, as this would be tantamount to double compensation, which is contrary to law.

"With regard to the second tranche, the PCOO has received it from OP within (the second quarter of) 2019, after submitting the liquidation of the first tranche," the PCOO said. "The PCOO has already commenced the distribution of the second tranche last March 21, 2019.

The agency assured it remains steadfast in improving and upholding accountability, public service, and governance.

"It also continues to ensure that graft and corruption will not have a place in this administration," it said.

"Rest assured, we at PCOO take our jobs seriously in being responsible and accountable in fighting corruption. As a public office, PCOO has the duty of protecting, not only its integrity but also that of the whole government. We owe it to the Filipino people to have integrity," it added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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