By Ben Rosario
An audit report prepared by the Commission on Audit for the Toll Regulatory Board has indicated a possible fraud in the collection of toll charges and concession fees from commercial establishments operating on expressways in the country.
In its 2017 annual audit report for the TRB, COA disclosed that there remains an undetermined amount of uncollected concession fees and charges from Service Facility Operators on toll roads.
Also, some P44.2 million in government’s revenue share from toll fees have not been recorded.
COA said there has been lack of adequate guidelines on the “monitoring, collection and remittance of revenues” from toll operations.
Thus, the audit examination indicated “uncollected concessions fees” of the still undetermined amount that should have been turned over to the government.
IN the value for money audit, COA said government, through the TRN, is entitled to 50 percent of fees and charges that service facility operators give the tollway operators.
As of December 31, 2017, there are nine tollway operators managing the following expressways: North Luzon Expressways, Subic Freeport Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Cavite Expressways; Southern Arterial Road, South Luzon Expressway, Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway, Metro Manila Expressway Project; Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway and the Ninoy Aquino International Expressway.
Of these, five, Cavitex; Muntinlupa-Cavite; SMMSP, TPLEX and NAIA Expressway have not service facility operators.
COA said that upon review of the schedule of collections from 2012-2016, it was determined that there has been no concession fee remitted to the Bureau of Treasury.
There were also no records of the amount of fees the tollway operators impose on service facility operators.
Auditors slammed claims by the TRB that only gasoline stations have been listed as Toll Service Facilities.
COA said the TRB should have included not only gasoline stations as toll service facilities. The board should have included emergency vehicle repair shops, restaurants and cafeteria, stores and groceries as among establishments that must pay concession fees.
The audit agency rejected the claim of the TRB that concession fees have not been collected from tollway operators due to various complaints, saying that it failed to present documents to support such claim;.
COA said the TRB must formulate guidelines and procedures on the monitoring, collection, and remittance of all revenues arising from toll operators, saying that sanctions must be imposed in case of late or non-remittance.
Further, sanctions must also be imposed for the delay and non-remittance of concession fees to the Bureau of Treasury.