Where are COA’s ’09 and ’10 NFA reports?
ONLY A few are aware of the audit reports on government agencies and government-owned and -controlled corporations; and, perhaps, even fewer bother to download the “boring” and voluminous reports. Inquirer’s regular news reports on the Commission on Audit reports such as the one titled “Gov’t remiss in remitting contribution to PhilHealth— COA” (Inquirer, 3/31/11) indeed help in keeping the public aware of financial malfeasance in government.
For years, I have monitored the National Food Authority (NFA) and the issue of rice. The Inquirer is very supportive of the advocacy, having published letters, the latest of which was titled “Focus on inputs, not imports.” (Inquirer, 3/18/11) For the support I am truly very thankful.
On the NFA, the issues so far raised by media have been focused on external factors; rice imports, food security, etc. I have been suggesting that the NFA, which has become a “behemoth,” be split. This suggestion I based on the COA Audit Reports for calendar 2008 (the 2009 reports are not available this late) on the NFA. The COA findings, though mind-boggling, have not yet been taken up by media.
The NFA has outgrown itself and languishes in internally generated malfeasance; inefficiency in managing import arrivals in discharge ports and distribution; cash collection mismanagement and “thievery.” The latest available COA 2008 Report mentions “short-landings/spillages” worth P226 million; unnecessary P150 million demurrage and storage penalties for delayed unloading of containerized imports; aging two million bags of imported rice priced higher than local rice; “robberies, malversation” involving; P41 million; etc. If I may suggest further, the Inquirer should consider the 2008 COA Report on the NFA in future articles. And I hope that the 2009 COA Report is made public soon. It is now April 2011, the reports for the other agencies were out early this year.
—MANUEL Q. BONDAD,
4638 Arellano Ave.,
Palanan, Makati City
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