THE Office of the Vice President has insisted that its confidential funds were properly and appropriately utilized.
Vice President Sara Duterte issued a short statement days after the report of Commission on Audit (COA) was released to which the budget of the agency is being flagged.
“The Confidential Fund has been utilized appropriately for its intended purpose and in accordance with the guidelines set by the national government,’ the OVP statement said without giving any details on how these were spent.
As for the low utilization of the assistance funds, the OVP said “the decrease in the amount of Financial Assistance/Subsidy from Fiscal Year 2021 to Fiscal Year 2022 was due to a lower amount of budget/appropriation under the 2022 General Appropriations Act, in view of the anticipated election ban and transition in 2022.”
Last July 3, state auditors revealed in their report that the confidential expenses of the office under Duterte rose to P125 million in 2022, from zero confidential expenses in 2021 of the previous administration.
Likewise the COA noted in the report that assistance and subsidy provided by the OVP to local government units and non-government organizations went down to P378.82 million in 2022 from P526.713 million in 2021.
COA’s report also flagged OVP’s non-adherence to the procurement laws when it created several satellite offices.
The state auditors said that the equipment the OVP procured had a total amount of P668,197 and was obtained without following procedures mandated by the Government Procurement Reform Act.