State auditor flags DepEd expenses worth P13.9B

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THE COMMISSION on Audit (CoA) has flagged about P13.9 billion of expenses at the Department of Education that were either illegal or lacked adequate documentation.

The expenses were used for training and seminars, travel, office supplies, repair and rehabilitation of schools, telephone and mobile expenses, and team building activities, according to a report.

State auditors also cited P15.4 billion of unused allotments — caused by unenforced projects — at several department offices in the National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 10.

Books and instructional materials were not distributed, while allotments for student vouchers, personal services, retirement and life insurance premiums of teachers were never used, it said.

CoA also noted that about 115 senior high school voucher program beneficiaries for the school years 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 did not really exist.

The “ghost students” were billed more than once in the same school year, resulting in an overpayment of P1.25 million by the Education department, it said.

State auditors said participating schools in the voucher program should refund the excessive payments.

In the report, Education officials promised to submit the missing documents. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras