The Commission on Audit has called the attention of the Land Transportation Office in the National Capital Region and Region 4A for a P3.98-million purchase of “expensive” mobile phones and “excessive” prepaid load.
In an annual audit report, the commission noted out of the P3.98 million, P3.3 million were used to buy mobile phones, while the remaining money was used for prepaid load.
State auditors said the purchase of the phones and load were deemed unnecessary and excessive in violation of COA Circular 2012-003, adding these were also non-responsive to the government’s call for judicious and prudent use of government funds and/or resources.
“The grant of cellular phones, tablets in LTO-NCR and postpaid mobile cellular phone units in LTO-Region IV-A—for the same purpose and objective considering serviceability status of existing units and corresponding issuance of more than one unit to an individual as well as to an individual holding the position lower than Division Chief rank—are deemed excessive and unnecessary pursuant to the provision of the above-stated COA Circular,” the report read.
“Moreover, it signifies the agency’s non-responsiveness to the government’s call for judicious and prudent use of government funds and/or resources.”
“The granting of the monthly cellphone cards allowances is considered as irregular expenses due to the non-approval of the said Resolution by the Civil Service Commission Regional Office as an amendment to the LTO PRAISE providing the granting of such benefits, thus not considered as legal bases for the granting of cell card benefits.”
COA told LTO to limit the issuance of cellular phones to officials and employees which should not be lower than Division Chief rank; require concerned officials and employees to return cellular phones in excess of one unit whether serviceable or not to the Property Section and consider issuance of serviceable cellular phones to other qualified employees in need of the same in their work; and submit specific legal authorization on the grant of postpaid mobile phone lines.