Marikina Mayor P18.5M food and drinks expenditure ‘doubtful’ – COA

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Commission on Audit (COA) asked that Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro explain the P18.5 million payments for food and drinks made by the city government for various meetings which are not supported by the necessary documents.

Item 4 of COA Circular 2012-003 defines “unnecessary expenses” as those that are not prudent, not supportive of the agency’s objectives, not demanded by government, not essential or could be dispensed without loss to government assets.

According to state auditor’s report, disbursement vouchers and general accounting of P18.5 million disclosed that payments for food and drink for meetings hosted by the Office of the Mayor was not supported by a meeting agenda, or even minutes and pictures taken during such activities.

“The practice of not disclosing the specific agenda on the meetings hosted by the Office of the Mayor with various sectors/associations and not including any proof of minutes and pictures demonstrates that food expenses…are of doubtful necessity since there is no proof that such were supportive of the objectives of the City’s operations,” COA said.

In addition, according to the commission, some payments for food and drinks made by Mayor Teodoro’s office were not supported with even attendance sheets. Some of those that had supporting documents had sheets, but addresses and contact numbers were not indicated.

According to Marikina management, the payments are such because Mayor Teodoro does not contain his functions within the City Hall, rather he “conducts office by visiting communities talking first hand to his constituents via assemblies and meetings.”

The commission recommended that the city government require meetings to produce the following necessary documents: agenda, minutes and pictures. Also that Mayor Teodoro “minimize the hosting of meetings” which are not essential, dictated by the demands of good government or supportive of its mandate and objectives. #