Friday, October 01, 2004

NR1001:Expenses of the Office of the President

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release October 1, 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Celphone number 09213907362

Rep. Beltran questions Office of the President's "Maintenance expenses" and
mysterious "Confidential expenses" running hundreds of millions as reported by
Audit Commission

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran said that the Commission on Audit's
(CoA) report on the detailed Statement of Income and Expenses for the 2003
fiscal year of the Office of the President (OP)contained eyebrow-raising facts
and figures which belie the executive's assertion that her government has been
saving and scrimping and that it's opposed to corruption.

Beltran said that according to the CoA report, President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo's office has the reord of having the biggest unliquidated cash
advance since the administration of former dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. While
the accumulated cash advance from the time of Marcos down to the government of
ousted president Joseph Estrada totaled P160 M, the OPS under PGMA has
accumulated P626M in unliquidated cash advances in 2003 alone.

Though the report has already included the amounts used for maintenance and
repair of properties, transportation, equipment and the like owned, operated
and maintained by the OP, a whopping P232 M - the biggest item all other
expenses - is still listed separately:

Repairs and maintenance - Land improvements 2,009,345.30
Repairs and maintenance -Electricity, Power & Energy Structures 2,700
Repairs and maintenance - Office Buildings 8,347,452.24
Repairs and maintenance- Other Structures 1,356,946,80
Repairs and maintenance - Office Equipment 2,072,922.60
Repairs and maintenance - Furniture and Fixtures 6,487,740.95
Repairs and maintenance - IT Equipment and Software 295,485.88
Repairs and maintenance - Machineries 6,328.00
Repairs and maintenance - Communication Equipment 623,905.40
Repairs and maintenance - Medical, Dental & Laboratory Equipment
Repairs and maintenance - Other Machineries and Equipment 1,560,061.95
Repairs and maintenance -Motor vehicles 10,656,259.78
Repairs and maintenance - Aircrafts 58,567,566.07
Repairs and maintenance - Watercrafts 83,195,15
Repairs and maintenance - Other Property, Plant and Equipment 2,176,771.55
Repairs and maintenance - Ports, Lighthouse and Harbors 90,334,733.00
Repairs and maintenance - Artesian Wells , Reservoir, Pumping 75,779.00
Stations and conduits

Listed as a SEPARATE item is
Other Maintenance and Operating Expenses 232,282,957.01

"The OP allotted the biggest amount to this item among all the rest: higher
than the expenses for salaries and wages for the regular staff
(178,177,192.69); Travelling expenses ((109,870,203.33) and Confidential
expenses (P144,404,964.66). What other massive piece of machinery or
infrastructure or facility is the OP maintaining that it should spend P232
million for it?! These expenses must have been incurred during the frenzied
and ostentatious preparations for the visit of US President George Bush October
2003," he said.

Beltran also questioned the item marked "Confidential expenses." "What exactly
are the things that fall under this mysterious category? This item is highly
intriguing. The CoA should demand more detailed explanations for these items,
and Malacanang should present a breakdown of the expenses under this
categories down to the last centavo. The unliquidated cash advances should
also be explained. Billions have gone into maintaining the OP including the
very palace-office, its grounds and gardens, funds that could have well been
utilized to increase allocations for public hospitals, schools, and the
salaries of teachers and rank and file government employees. The OP has a lot
of explaining to do," he asserted.

Beltran said that Malacanang particularly the OP is ignoring the recommendations
of the CoA that the OP require concerned accountable officers to liquidate
their cash advances within the prescribed period and refrain from granting
additional cash advance to accountable officers still will unliquidated cash.

"When it comes to keeping salaries and benefits of government employees down,
and when it comes to keeping the allocations for education, health and housing,
the Department of Budget and Management and the so-called expert economists and
advisers of Malacanang are very detailed in their excuses. Now we want to see
where the funds for these concerns went ," he said.#


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