QUEZON CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Quezon City Bureau) – The Commission on Audit (COA) says the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has failed to liquidate the travel expenses of its staff last year within the prescribed 30-day period.
The 2017 COA report said OVP personnel spent ₱26.4 million on local trips and ₱953,550.75 for foreign trips. Refund of unused travel money was also delayed.
Today, Leni Robredo — through spokesperson Georgina Hernandez — justified the delay, sayng that the bulk of the travel expenses was spent on providing free merienda (snacks) to news reporters as well as local supporters who were hauled in buses to be part of the VP’s photo ops.
”Because the merienda consisting of lugaw and boiled saging na saba (banana) were purchased mostly from local vendors and farmers, we were not able to get official receipts. But we have already assigned our OVP personnel to travel back to the towns and cities we visited in order to obtain the receipts required by COA,” Hernandez told The Adobo Chronicles.
As far as the foreign trips were concerned, the OVP says liquidation of funds was delayed because “we were waiting for the dollar-peso exchange rate to improve. Otherwise, mag-aabono kami (fork out money).”