In record time, Senate panel approves COA’s proposed P14.46-B 2022 budget


The Commission on Audit (COA) set a record of sorts Tuesday as its P14.46-billion proposed budget for 2022 took barely a 10-minute scrutiny to be endorsed by the Senate finance committee for plenary approval. 

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the endorsing Finance committee, confirmed the swift endorsement of the screening panel to elevate COA’s 2022 budget for plenary approval, noting there were no queries raised by committee members on the COA budget. 

Angara admitted he himself had no questions on either the budget or COA’s policies.

Instead, Angara commended COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo for a job “well done,” citing the COA chief’s leadership of the commission, and noting the absence of controversies under Aguinaldo’s watch.

The senator also assured him that majority of the senators are inclined to endorse the COA’s proposed P14-billion budget, given the vital role of the commission in government operations.

In turn, Aguinaldo presented the P14.6 billion proposal for next year that includes P500-million funding allotted to complete construction of a new COA building.

Moreover, COA requested Congress to increase its funding for local travel needed by their field personnel, as well as additional allocation for “operational expenses” of COA’s satellite offices in the provinces.

The COA has been in the news the past few months since its 2020 report on P62 billion in “deficiencies” in the Department of Health (DOH) triggered a Senate inquiry on pandemic-related negotiated contracts, with questions on how the low-capital, but apparently well-connected, startup Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. bagged over P11 billion of such deals.

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