RED CROSS rebuffs Duterte on COA audit demand

“To date, there has not been any adverse finding on any transaction whereby government funds were given to the Philippine Red Cross,” the Philippine unit of the International Red Cross issued this statement on Sunday as President Rodrigo Duterte said that he wants the Commission on Audit (COA) to look into funds received by PRC from the government and international donors.

“The Philippine Red Cross has faithfully accounted for the use of such funds in compliance with the donor agencies’ liquidation and reportorial requirements.  These government agencies, in turn, are subject to annual audit by the Commission on Audit (COA),” said the PRC chaired by Senator Dick Gordon.

Duterte sought a COA audit of the Red Cross as Gordon, chair of the blue ribbon committee, led a Senate investigation into a COA audit report that indicated apparent mishandling by the Duterte administration of the multi-billion-peso Covid-19 pandemic response fund.

Duterte has also threatened to stop government transaction with the Red Cross.

Duterte further claimed that COA can audit the PRC, despite being a private entity, as it has been receiving financial assistance from the government.

But it appears that the Red Cross has been submitting financial reports to the COA even as it is a private agency.

Reports on the donations may be acquired by the Office of the President directly from the government agencies, said the PRC, adding that audits on government agencies may be obtained from the COA.

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