COA can audit payments, but not Red Cross itself

The Chairperson of the Commission on Audit (COA), Michael G. Aguinaldo, told Representative Edcel Lagman that it has no jurisdiction to audit the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as the latter is a non-government humanitarian organization, contrary to the recent statements of President Duterte, a lawyer.[1] In the same exchange, Aguinaldo added: "The only thing we can audit are payments made by PhilHealth to the Red Cross but in that case what we’re auditing actually is PhilHealth in making those payments."[2]READ MORE: MAY RED CROSS BE AUDITED BY THE GOVERNMENT?
Meanwhile, former COA commissioner Heidi Mendoza is reported to have confirmed that the PRC may not be audited by COA as it is a non-government institution. However, PRC contracts with government agencies can be scrutinized.[3] It must be recalled that the following are the principal duties of the COA:
  1. Examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the government.
  2. Promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties.
  3. Submit annual reports to the President and the Congress on the financial condition and operation of the government.
  4. Recommend measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations.
  5. Keep the general accounts of government and preserve the vouchers and supporting papers pertaining thereto.
  6. Decide any case brought before it within 60 days.
  7. Performs such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.[4]

[1] COA: We have no power to audit Red Cross. By: Neil Arwin Mercado - Reporter / @NAMercado. INQINQUIRER.net / 03:45 PM September 03, 2021. Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1483037/coa-we-have-no-power-to-audit-red-cross#ixzz75P2Nr6Tt Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook.

[2] See video above.

[3] COA can't audit Philippine Red Cross, says ex-OGCC head. Reported by Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News. Posted at Sep 03 2021 10:03 AM. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/03/21/coa-cant-audit-philippine-red-cross-says-ex-ogcc-head.

[4] https://www.coa.gov.ph/index.php/2013-06-19-13-06-03/principal-duties.

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