PASIG CITY, August 12, 2019 – As part of the reforms initiated under the leadership of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, the Department of Education (DepEd) is intent on further strengthening its financial management system.

As early as March 2019, the Department has already been working with the Commission on Audit (COA) and submitted its responses to the Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) on the alleged delay in construction of classrooms and alleged undistributed textbooks, among others.

The Department’s exit conferences and audit engagements with the Commission have been very positive and reassuring. As such, the Department has instituted new polices and is in the process of updating, simplifying, and codifying its internal rules as part of its financial reform efforts.

DepEd underscores that COA observations — which were issued to the Department as AOMs — are all subject to explanation and justification by the agency concerned. It should be noted that audit observations are different from notice of suspension and notice of disallowance. Notice of suspension signifies suspending payment or disbursement until the agency justifies or complies with COA requirements, while notice of disallowance requires an agency to refund/return payment.

Finally, DepEd welcomes the inquiry that the Senate and the House of Representatives plan to conduct on this matter. We will appreciate a public process to respond to the issues raised in the COA report.

DepEd assures the public and its stakeholders that it had already addressed COA’s observations, and that it is determined to continuously improve its systems and processes.