PIA rectifying P206-M audit discrepancy: PCOO exec

State-run Philippine Information Agency (PIA) is currently rectifying its audit discrepancy through the recommendation of the Commission on Audit (COA), an official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said Thursday.


PCOO Undersecretary and acting deputy presidential spokesperson Michel Kristian “Kris” Ablan made this assurance after the COA flagged the PIA over a PHP206.3 million discrepancy in the value of its property plant and equipment (PPE).


Ablan said the PIA has already responded to the COA, noting that the agency failed to reconcile the list of its PPE to the actual inventory.


“Mayroon po kasi tayong discrepancy na mga PHP200 million pero hindi naman ibig sabihin po ay nawawala ‘yan (We have a discrepancy of about PHP200 million but it does not mean that it’s lost). These are all office supplies, property tsaka (and) equipment. Ang explanation po natin diyan, ang explanation po ng PIA, di lang po nila ma-reconcile yung listahan po nila ng property tsaka equipment tsaka yung actual…(Our explanation, the explanation of the PIA is that they could not reconcile the list of their property and equipment to the actual inventory),” he said in an interview over DZMM’s Teleradyo program.


He said the PIA had trouble reconciling the list because these equipment — gadgets like mobile phones, recorders, and laptops — are being used by field personnel or employees who are working outside the office.


“Most of these hindi po ma-locate ay yung mga office equipment po. Hindi ibig sabihin na ninakaw na po ‘yun o wala. Mayroon kasing mga accountable officers po niyan (Most of these that cannot be located are office equipment. But it does not mean that they were stolen),” he said.


Ablan also cited how the large number of provincial and regional offices made it a “challenge” to prepare the inventory.


“Mayroon po kasi tayong higit kumulang 70 na provincial offices at saka 16 regional offices sa PIA so medyo may challenge po kami talaga na mapuntahan lahat (We have over 70 provincial offices and 16 regional offices of the PIA so it is quite a challenge to visit all of them),” he said.


He, however, assured that the PIA is already rectifying the discrepancy through the recommendation of the COA.


“Sabi naman po ng PIA gagawin po nila yung recommendation ng COA which is to ensure na kung sino yung mga taong responsible dun sa mga equipment na ‘yun, sabihin natin upuan o lamesa o computer ay talagang hindi siya makakalabas ng serbisyo na hindi niya ibinabalik ‘yun (The PIA said they will follow the recommendation of the COA which is to ensure that people responsible for the equipment, let’s say chair, tables or computers, cannot leave service until they return them),” he said.


He also assured that the PIA is also addressing the PHP12.275 million unliquidated cash advances of its regional offices (ROs) which the COA also called out in the same audit report.


“Sinagot na rin po ‘yan ng PIA at sinabihan na rin po namin ang PIA na mag-file na po sila ng mga liquidation sa mga cash advances nila kasi nga napaka importante na kapag gumastos po sila ng pera ng taongbayan ay ma-account po ito sa ating treasury tsaka sa ating administration and finance (The PIA has also responded to that and we also told the PIA to file a liquidation of the cash advances because it is important that public funds being spent are accounted for in the treasury and our administration and finance),” he said.


To prevent problems like this from happening in the future, Ablan emphasized the importance of digitizing government record systems, noting that record-keeping was still being done “manually.”


“Kailangan po talaga mag-onboard na po lahat ng office namin sa aming digital record system. ‘Yun po kasi yung isa sa nagiging problema dahil mano-mano pa rin po ang pag-record sa ibang opisina namin so mahirap po iconsolidate yung information (All our offices should be on board with the digital record system. Our problem is records are still being done manually so it is difficult to consolidate information),” he said.


According to its official website, the PIA is mandated to provide “accurate, timely, and relevant information to enable citizens to participate in and benefit from government programs that would uplift their quality of life.


The PIA also “plans and implements communication and advocacy programs of national scope and assists other government agencies in the communication component of their programs through multimedia strategies.”


Source: Philippines News Agency

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