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COA flags DepEd over “several deficiencies” in P8-billion COVID funds

COA flags DepEd over “several deficiencies” in P8-billion COVID funds

The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the Department of Education (DepEd) over “several deficiencies” in the use of its COVID funds amounting to P8.137 billion.

This funds was used for the implementation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) for school year 2020-2021.

The COA said the use of P8.137-billion downloaded amounts was marked by the non-submission of contracts, purchase orders and other supporting documents, delayed procurement and delivery of self-learning modules, flawed and incomplete SLMs and undisbursed funds.

The COA also said the DepEd’s lapses affected the realization of the program’s objectives.

For one, the COA said the deliveries of SLMs with a total contract price of P676.255 million were either delayed or were not yet completed as of Dec. 31, 2020.

The COA linked the delays to “deficient planning, poor monitoring of deliveries, suppliers’ failure to complete or provide the needed requirements within the agreed term and delayed transmittal of final soft copy of modules for printing.”

“Considering the urgency and importance of the printed materials, the incomplete/non-availability of modules on the period in which it is supposed to be used deprived the learners of better learning opportunity and hampers the continuity of the learning process of students during this time of pandemic contrary to the program’s objective,” the COA said.

On the other hand, the DepEd said it has passed the COA review of its spending and use of 2020 budget allocations .

“Only 2.88 percent or P15.5 billion of that (P537.85 billion DepEd funds for 2020) is due for adjustment entries, submission of supporting documents, reconciliations and others,” Annalyn Sevilla, DepEd undersecretary for finance, said.

“This is a great improvement from last year’s findings of COA, which was at P25 billion,” she added.