COA wrong; LWUA not among erring GOCCs
This is in response to the news article published in the Nov. 6 issue (Second Front Page) of your paper reported by Marlon Ramos titled “30 GOCCs told to return P1.6 B” and to the editorial (Opinion, 11/11/14).
I would like to rectify the misconceptions that resulted from this erroneous report where the Local Water Utilities Administration was mentioned as one of the GOCCs that spent the most for the allowances and benefits for its officers and employees.
To clarify things, the Commission on Audit (COA) erroneously posted certain questionable disbursements in the category of alleged unauthorized allowances and benefits to LWUA officers and employees. The aggregate amount of P436,182,917.30 in 2013 was sourced from the 2013 COA Annual Financial Report. The P395,462,074.88 representing irregular “grants” extended in 2009-2010 to various water districts by the past administration, was erroneously posted in the category of “irregular and questionable disbursements.”
The COA, in its letter dated Nov. 11, 2014, has apologized for its error and assured the LWUA that an erratum will be immediately published in the COA’s 2013 Annual Financial Report to rectify the inadvertent categorization.
We would like also to emphasize that a portion of said “grants” have already been converted to loans as part of the LWUA’s strategy to recover the principal amount of the irregular disbursements of the previous administration.
Thank you and hopefully, this would stop the misconceptions and unpalatable reactions of netizens and “concerned citizens” that the “unconscionable” amount was granted by the LWUA to its officers and employees.
—ANDRES F. IBARRA,
Local Water Utilities Administration
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