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P.3-billion GAS subsidy missing

The Department of Energy has yet to account for the P300-million transport subsidy rolled out during the immediately preceding Aquino administration from 2010 to 2016.

In its 2017 report, the Commission on Audit said the department had failed to submit documents needed to evaluate the fuel subsidy program, that was last implemented in 2013.

The Pantawid Pasada program of the DoE has not been audited since its implementation seven years ago, the latest CoA report indicated.

The DoE implemented the Pantawid Pasada, or Public Transport Assistance program with the Transportation, Finance, and Interior departments to cushion the high fuel prices caused by the Middle East oil crisis.

CoA said it notified the DoE about the pending review of the P300-million program, but its letters were left unanswered for several years.

Among the documents demanded by CoA were the fund utilization report, fund loading by the Bank of the Philippine Islands, and the inventory of the cash cards given to jeepney drivers.

PHILIPPINE TRICOLORS. Peddlers sell Philippine flags of different sizes to passing motorists along a busy stretch of Manila’s bayside Roxas Blvd. during the weekend in anticipation of the observance of National Flag Day from May 28 until June 12. Ey Acasio

With the DoE’s failure to submit the documents the CoA demanded, how the P300 million was used, and how many cards were loaded with cash could not be determined.

However, the DoE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau said auditors handling the Malampaya fund had “already audited” the program.

The bureau said that the CoA reported no major finding but it asked for supporting documents from BPI.

The bureau blamed “systems failure” for its failure to submit supporting documents that have been pending since 2013.

“BPI submitted already the fund utilization report but CoA requested a detailed utilization per card which BPI system cannot immediately act [on] because their system crashed,” it said.

In 2011, then President Benigno Aquino III instituted the program through Executive Order 32 with an initial funding of P450 million. 

Of this amount, P300 million was allocated to the DoE while the rest was given to the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Funds for the program were sourced from its earnings from the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power project.

Topics: Department of Energy , Aquino administration , Commission on Audit , Pantawid Pasada , Oil Industry Management Bureau
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