Palace to COA: Auditing protocols shouldn’t derail government projects

MANILA — The Commission on Audit (COA) should observe auditing protocols without derailing government projects, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark, pointing out President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s frustration that government projects were being delayed because of unnecessary regulations.

“Auditing protocols can be observed without derailing government projects. It requires creativity and dexterity but always within the impositions required by law,” Panelo said in a statement.

In a Palace briefing, Panelo said that Duterte’s statement could also be regarded as a message to the Congress.

“I think it’s addressed to Congress. If there are provisions there that will impair the delivery of services then Congress should amend the procedures of the auditing protocols, Panelo said.

“For instance if the requirement is 100 days, puwedemogawin (you can make it) 25 days,” he added.

 

Panelo also defended the President’s joke about kidnapping and torturing the agency’s personnel anew saying that it was merely Duterte’s style to speak in “a hyperbolic style.”

“The remarks of President Rodrigo RoaDuterte about the Commission on Audit were expressions of his exasperation and vexation against its application of stringent rules that delays government projects, made in playful jest as his usual hyperbolic style,” Panelo said.

Panelo pointed out that while the President’s detractors failed to understand his “spicy remarks”, Filipinos who voted for him understood that he was simply being an “action man” annoyed by government project delays.

“We have an action man President who is visibly irked with inefficiency and delays in the delivery of public service which can be avoided by COA’s application of strict rules liberally but not in derogation of what the law requires and still within its ambit,” Panelo said.

He said that it was this side of the President, which “catapulted him to the presidency” and changing his style would appease his critics.

“For him to change the very endearing ways that have struck a chord with the masses of our people just to please and appease his critics and the opposition is akin to dreaming an impossible dream,” Panelo said.

“The President is a forthright person and the more his critics and detractors lambast him on his style and action, the more he will stick to them,” he added.

Panelo, meanwhile, said that despite tirades against COA, the President still acknowledges its role in exposing corruption scandals within the government.

“He (Duterte) always welcomes any information leading to the discovery of any corruption or scandal. He’s been telling all of us that we have to cooperate with each other,” Panelo said. (PNA)