The Commission on Audit has called the attention of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority on the “doubtful or fictitious students” enrolled in its accredited schools.
In an audit report, the commission identified AMA Computer College in Manila with 310 Tesda scholars, and Technivoc Institute Corp. with 270 listed scholars, who were supposedly involved in the irregularities under Tesda’s training-for-work scholarship program.
State auditors said AMA was able to receive P13.65 million from Tesda-Manila broken down into P10.05 million in 2015 and P3.6 million in 2016 for the training of 455 student beneficiaries at the cost of P30,000 per scholar.
AMA’s Sta. Mesa campus accepted 310 student-scholars in 2015 to learn “career entry course for software developers NC IV using Java.”
CoA discovered the irregularities following the verification of the whereabouts of the scholars listed in the school’s registry.
“The documents supporting the paid disbursement vouchers... for the attendance of the 310 scholars claimed to have undergone said Java training were found doubtful/fictitious,” the report read.
Only 115 were reached through their listed phone numbers and addresses, while the other 195 were not found since the numbers listed next to their names were found to be either unreachable, invalid, incorrect, inexistent or assigned to a completely different person.
Out of the 115 who were located, 77 turned up to be real AMA students but were on other campuses and taking different courses.
‘‘The audit team’s validation for the training conducted/attended by the 77 students revealed that they were regular students of AMACC Fairview, Quezon City campus. Further, 12 students our of those 77 interviewed by the audit team disclosed that they were instructed to sign attendance sheets, training-for-scholarship work program scholarship vouchers and identifications,’’ CoA said.
CoA also pointed to the discrepancies in the dates of the attendance sheets, the pictures of five supposed scholars belonged to other students, and the name of one AMA professor was used on a scholarship voucher while the photo of another was used for a supposed student.
AMA responded positively after being informed of the adverse audit findings by acknowledging the irregularities and refunding the disallowed amounts based on CoA’s two separate notices of disallowance.
The school management said they fired a campus director over CoA’s findings.
As far as the TIC was concerned, CoA said, the school received payment from Tesda to train 270 scholars for the courses of “barista NC II” and “bartending NC II” at P1,471,500.
The school listed its address at 1679 Tayuman St., Sta. Cruz, Manila.
“Visit/inspection was done by the team in December 2017. However, it showed that the site was found to be a business establishment named Getz Hotel,” CoA said.
“The audit interviewed the hotel receptionist and security guards who responded that they were unaware of the existence of TIC and that no training programs were conducted by TIC in the said place.”
CoA chided Tesda-Manila for its failure to verify if the actual training was conducted and for simply paying the students’ billings.
CoA doubted TIC’s claim of mobile training programs after an interview with officials and residents of Barangays 163, 2723, 312, 422 and 423 in Manila revealed no such training happened.
Efforts to trace the 270 student scholars proved difficult as only 28 responded, while the rest could no longer be reached by the numbers given.
TIC challenged CoA’s findings, saying its facility was actually located inside the Getz Hotel “without monetary consideration” as it has a contract of usufruct with the owner.
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