COA chides National Youth Commission for profligate spending

Published August 25, 2020, 8:08 PM

by Ben Rosario

The Commission on Audit (COA) has chided the National Youth Commission (NYC) for failing to accomplish target programs to encourage healthy lifestyle among the youth despite spending nearly its entire allocated budget for these activities.      

In the 2019  NYC annual audit report released on Tuesday,  the COA also aired its displeasure over the failure of the agency to reduce its training expenses for the year.     

In its performance audit, COA said NYC’s objectives to encourage healthy lifestyle among the youth were pursued through the Fit Filipino Youth Against Drug (FYAD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Prevention Program for the Youth or Project Happy.      

Out of the 12 targeted activities to reach the projects objectives, only four were accomplished, the state audit agency disclosed.       

When audited, COA found out that the NYC had already spent P9,332,965.41 or 89.69 percent of the total P10,405,000 budget for the activities.     

The audit agency said it has asked the management to furnish the audit team with a list of activities that were to be prioritized by the administration of newly-appointed NYC Ryan Enriquez but were not granted the request.       

Audit specialists also reminded NYC to observe regulations in conducting training activities, especially avoidance of incurring extravagant expenditures that “exceed the bounds of propriety.”        

“The NYC could have reduced its training expenses of P34,980,312.87 by P3,691,950.00 had it limited room reservations to the expected number of attendees, held some of the activities within the office premises and made use of government/DOT accredited facilities,” said COA.         

In 2019, the agency noted that there were times when the NYC conducted trainings and workshops where there were more reserved rooms than the number of participants.        

According to auditors, NYC could have saved funds had it conducted training activities within the office premises, avoided single room occupancies in inns and hotels and used government accredited facilities.       

A least P10.3 million could have been saved had the NYC conducted 11 of its 65 training activities in simpler hotels or inns instead of five-star hotels and resorts.