Jul 142014
The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the P3.19 billion from the Supreme Court (SC) budget that the court declared as savings in 2012, GMA News’ “24 Oras” reported on Monday.

According to the 2012 audit report of COA, the SC has P3.19 billion in unspent funds from the P15-billion notices of cash allocations (NCA) it received from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that year.

In its report, the COA questioned why the SC declared such huge savings when it had several unpaid obligations during that year.

According to the “24 Oras” report, the COA said that since the SC declared P3.19 billion of its NCA as “savings”, payments for its obligations incurred in 2012 were taken from the SC’s 2013 budget.

The COA said this practice was against the law on government spending.

Meanwhile, the SC, in its reply to the COA report said, it has been a practice of the high court to declare unspent funds as “savings”. According to the “24 Oras” report, the SC said it has its own policies when it comes to spending.

In his televised speech Monday afternoon, President Benigno Aquino III criticized the SC over its decision to declare the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as partially unconstitutional.

Among the practices under DAP that the SC ruled as unconstitutional were the declaration of unobligated and unprogrammed funds as “savings”, the “cross-border” transfer of savings of the executive branch to the other branches of the government, and the funding of projects not stated in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Aquino, in his speech, said that the SC supposedly did something “worse than DAP”.

“Mayroon din kasi kayong ginawa dati, na sinubukan ninyong gawin ulit, at may nagsasabi pang mas matindi ito base sa desisyong inilabas ninyo kamakailan lang,” Aquino said.

Aquino, however, did not go into detail about his allegation. Elizabeth Marcelo/JDS, GMA News

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