The Commission on Audit (COA) never mentioned in its 2020 audit report that corruption attended the Department of Health's use of multi-billion-peso budget amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the COA said in a statement on Friday.
According to the constitutional commission said the audit process for flagged deficiencies had yet to be completed.
“The report itself does not mention any findings by the auditors of funds lost to corruption,” COA said in a statement.
“As there are recommendations for compliance by the DOH, the audit process for the deficiencies pointed out has not been completed. Hence, it is premature at this stage to make conclusions on the findings in the Consolidated Annual Audit Report,” it added.
The DOH once again came under fire after state auditors found several deficiencies in its use of P67.32 billion in COVID-19 funds, mainly due to non-compliance with laws, rules, and regulations.
One of the major deficiencies flagged by COA was the DOH’s transfer of P42.41 billion intended for COVID-19 response to procurement or implementing partner agencies without a memorandum of agreement and other supporting documents.
COA underscored, however, that there was no finding that this amount could not be accounted for.
Following the release of the COA report on Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III maintained that there was no corruption in the DOH.
In an interview on GMA News’ "Unang Balita” on Friday, Duque also insisted that the fund transfers flagged by COA were duly documented.
The health chief called on the public to look at his track record in light of fresh calls for his resignation.
Malacañang, meanwhile, ordered Duque to explain the deficiencies cited by COA. —NB, GMA News