COA: A complete breakdown of controls on PDAF
MANILA - The head of the Commission on Audit (COA) lamented Thursday a “complete breakdown” on the control of pork barrel funds that were distributed to at least 82 non-government organizations including 8 NGOs linked to Janet Lim Napoles.
In her testimony before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, COA Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan said a special audit from 2007-2009 on pork barrel funds showed that only “easily 20%-30%” of the total value of the cost of the projects were implemented.
This means about 80% of funds given to agencies “could not be readily accounted for to our satisfaction.”
“This is a case of a complete breakdown of controls,” she said.
Tan gave a detailed breakdown on the COA findings on 8 NGOs linked to Napoles, the alleged brains in the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
Napoles is accused of setting up fake NGOs to pocket pork barrel funds from certain lawmakers, who in turn allegedly got huge cuts from the deal with the businesswoman.
The 8 NGOs linked to Napoles that received pork barrel funds are:
- Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (AEPFFI),
- Agricultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation (APMFI),
- Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development (CARED) Foundation,
- Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, Inc (MAMFI),
- People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation (POPDFI),
- Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, Inc. (SDPFFI),
- Philippine Agri and Social Development Foundation Inc. and
- Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI).
Benhur Luy, the first whistle-blower in the pork barrel scam, earlier said he is the president of SDPFFI.
Tan said a number of senators and congressmen directed implementing agencies to transfer funds to identified NGOs via signed endorsement letters.
However, some projects were found to have suppliers with expired licenses while many municipalities listed as recipients of PDAF-funded projects denied getting projects or trainings.
“There is a pattern here but we will leave it to the Ombudsman and [Department of Justice] to see if there was a conspiracy,” Tan said.
The COA chief insisted the law does not allow the transfer of funds from government agencies to NGOs except with an ordinance.
"Makakapaglipat lang po sa mga NGOs ng pera ng bayan kung merong appropriation or ordinance earmarking or authorizing the contracting out of government funds to NGOs. So sa aming palagay as auditors ay hindi po naaayon sa batas ang paglilipat ng pera dun sa mga NGOs," Tan said.
“There is no provision on the right or to give way to NGOs to implement these projects,” she added.
Tan said the COA started the special audit in 2010 and finished collating the data last year.
She said that COA was not thinking about Napoles or her JLN Group of Companies although she was previously audited by COA after one of her companies, Jo-Cris Trading, was identified as one of the suppliers in the P728 million fertilizer fund scam in 2004.