Commission on Audit questions DoJ foreign travels sans proper documents

Commission on Audit

SOME 14 officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) had trips abroad last year without proper and complete documents, the Commission on Audit (CoA) said.

In its 2018 audit report, the CoA discovered that these numerous travels involved huge amount of expenses.

The state auditors also pointed out that a number of officials who were granted travel allowances have failed to support the expenditures with complete documents.

The CoA lamented that the airline tickets were procured through a travel agency.

Based on the report, at least two to five officials were sent by the DoJ to attend some 23 types of meetings or dialogues which cost travel expenses totalling P5.550 million.

Some P771,643.30 in expenditures were not supported by proper receipts and other documents for liquidation, the CoA added.

The CoA discovered that DoJ spent over P1 million on airline tickets purchased through a travel agency notwithstanding the absence of a memorandum of agreement between the agency and the Procurement Service-Department of Budget Management Government Fares Agreement.

“Any procurement of airline tickets outside GFA may be subject to CoA findings or disallowances,” auditors said.

“We also noted that, majority of those who were sent to attend such events (international meetings) were the same officials and personnel of DoJ,” it added.

One official identified as Bernadette C. Ongoco, traveled nearly once a month and was given over P1.30 million in traveling expenses and allowances. 
Ongsoco attended international meetings in Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, China and Vietnam in 2018.

Another official, Marilyn L. Angeles, went out of the country seven times last year, incurring at least P659,504 in her visits to Thailand, Singapore Indonesia and Australia where she traveled three times in 2018.

Others are Analiza C. Ite-Manito (four foreign travels in Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmmar, spending at least P423,225);  George O. Ortha II (five trips abroad in Austria, Malaysia and  Indonesia, P437,691);  Grace Estrada ( four international trips in Singapore, Thailand, Lao and New Zealand, P429,428);  Jomarli B. Uztarez ( two trips to Indonesia, P77,904); Pamelyn Omalin (two trips to Japan and New Zealand, P354,287); Mary Grace Quintana (five foreign travels in Vietnam, Singapore, China and New Zealand, P 529,527);  Deputy Director Mary Grace V. Pulido –Sadian (two official trips to South Korea and Thailand, P 102,401); Mildred Bernadette Alvor (three trips to Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, P199,906);  Nancy G. Lozano (three trips to Malaysia, Lao and Nepal , P305,927); Rosario Elena A. Laborte-Cuevas (three trips to Singapore, New Zeland and United States, P809,129);  Undersecretary Mark L. Perete (two trips to Austria and Lao, P 246,278) and Maria Laureen D. Suan (two trips to Singapore and Lao, P307,576)