The Commission on Audit (CoA) on Tuesday flagged the continuous release of subsidies by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) as it disbursed a total of P10.45 billion in subsidies given to electric cooperatives throughout the country despite unliquidated funds through the years.
The state auditor said that 1,301 transactions from 2012 to 2014 were continuously processed and funds were released to 102 electric cooperatives without considering the unliquidated balance of previous subsidies.
According to the special audit on NEA funds, it noted that the intervals between releases of funds were too close, without taking into consideration the liquidation of prior releases as required by government regulations.
“The audit team recommended that NEA comply strictly with the prescribed guidelines for the release of subsidy and if possible, initiate “no liquidation, no subsidy” policy to safeguard the funds,” the CoA said in the report.
The report also revealed that the 2010 and 2017 NEA memoranda provided that projects with the same classification shall be processed only if the previous projects funded by subsidy have been completed and closed out.
However, the NEA management said that as of March 22, 2019, only P403 million or three percent of the audited amount from 38 electric cooperatives remained unliquidated and some electric cooperatives were also required to execute an affidavit of undertaking to fully liquidate the subsidy fund balances, a move appreciated by the audit team.
“However, the audit team’s observation that NEA continuously processed and released subsidies even without liquidating first prior or previous funds given to the electric cooperatives was not acted upon,” said the CoA report.
NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong received a copy of the special audit report on 11 June 2019.