Responding to a post accusing the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as one of three government agencies that failed to fully document and comply with the procurement rules in the government’s Covid-19 response program, presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr tagged the allegation as “utterly malicious and was written with the intent to discredit the reputation not only of our agency, but of the national government as a whole.”
MANILA Philippines — The post ‘Bad Marks in CoA (Commission on Audit) Reports for OCD, OPAPP, DILG’ published in the Facebook page of the Right to Know Right Now Coalition, claimed that aside from failing to document and comply with the procurement rules, OPAPP as well as the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) paid out certain contractors for supplies and projects not fully delivered and have yet to fully account for all the funds that they had disbursed under the Bayanihan 1 and 2 laws.
The post further states “the audit reports of the Commission on Audit (CoA) for the year 2020 on the said agencies raise multiple adverse observations” and likewise cited OPAPP’s 642-strong workforce as well as the ₱103 million in salaries and wages and bounty of other compensation that were given to the agency’s personnel.
Galvez said the claims stated in the post were without bases and totally unfounded.
“First of all, we would like to set the record straight that OPAPP did not receive any funding under the Bayanihan 1 and 2 laws, as the funds were allocated only to agencies such as the Department of Health, OCD, and the Department of Public Works and Highways,” he disclosed.
Furthermore, the peace adviser clarified that OPAPP realigned its own fund which was tagged as Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2 and that the realigned allotment had been disbursed at 94.27 percent for its anti-Covid-19 efforts and operations.
“We would also like to point out that the fund allocations for both laws are very specific, and can only be used for Covid-related expenses such as personal protective equipment (PPE), quarantine facility costs, and purchase of rapid testing kits.
“Secondly, all of OPAPP’s expenses, including the expense items mentioned in the coalition’s post, are contained as line items in the ₱2.71 billion budget granted to the agency under the General Appropriation Act (GAA) of 2019 and 2020,” he stressed.
Third, and in opposition to the claims spelled out in the post, Galvez noted that CoA had given OPAPP the highest rating it can give to a government agency—an ‘unqualified rating’ and a 95 percent efficiency rating, which obviously belies the accusations against the agency.
“Such recognition from COA and the Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines only proves one thing, and that is, our office is employing sound fiscal management and ensuring the most efficient use of its resources, while responding to the enormous challenges that have been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We would therefore like to call on the Right to Know Right Now Coalition to cease from carrying out such black propaganda whose only objective is to soil the reputation not only of our agency but the whole national government by perpetuating such lies and misinformation,” he concluded. (TRC/JuanManila)