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BI in ‘hot water’ over P5.8M food catering for foreigners

Republika

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) finds itself in trouble when the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged its expenditures amounting to P5.816 million in 2019 for food catering services for foreign nationals detained at the bureau’s holding facility at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.

The annual audit report of COA on BI last year showed that the bureau hired the services of a private caterer despite lack of a valid contract and was not included in the agency’s annual procurement plan for 2019.

Aside from this, the payments made to the caterer were not supported with necessary documents, making it hard for COA’s audit team to determine whether the expenses are reasonable, advantageous to the government, and in accordance with existing procurement procedures, laws, rules and regulations.”

COA’s records show, BI incurred catering expenses of P5,816,460 from January to Dec. 31, 2019 for 244 detained foreign nationals.
“The (audit) team believed that this MOA was valid only for Calendar Year 2010 expenditure, and cannot be used as basis for payment of expenditures for succeeding years (2011-2019),” the COA said.

COA cited numerous violations that the BI has allegedly committed in hiring the services of the food catering to serve tables to foreigner detainees that the agency should explain and support its claim with receipts or documents.

The bureau, however, explained that it has already instructed its accounting section to submit to the audit team all the necessary documents to support the payments made in 2019.


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