By Quian Vencel Galut


Malacañang on Tuesday insisted that the Commission on Audit (COA) has the power to conduct audits on non-governmental organizations such as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte accused chairman Senator Richard Gordon of utilizing the PRC’s funds for his electoral campaigns, wanting COA to probe its audit report upon the said organization.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque then cited the Article 9 of the 1987 Constitution which states that COA has a permission to conduct a post-audit basis from all accounts including 'non-government entities' via "special audit".

Roque also cited COA Circular No. 96-003 which states COA can conduct audits on NGOs upon the request of the President or the state authorities.

“So, may basehan ba ang sinasabi ni Presidente na humingi sa COA ng special audit para sa PRC? Mayroon,” Roque pointed out in a press briefing.

He also cited Republic Act No. 10072 known as the Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009 that the organization must declare its annual report to the President containing all activities inside the organization.

Roque further said the government insisted on having an audit report conducted to Red Cross’ COVID-19 RT-PCR and its memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the various mayors of Metro Manila alongside Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

“Ang advanced payment clause sa MOA ay klarong paglabag sa PRC charter at Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. Reimbursement in the distribution of  goods and services ang pinapayagan. Reimbursement, walang advanced payment,” Roque stressed.

“The organization has not submitted a report on its activities and financial condition since 2016,” Roque added.