The Commission on Audit (COA) has sought the filing of legal action against 41 scholars of the Philippine Science High School for reneging in their obligation to enroll in science and technology college courses in exchange for over P5.8 million in financial privileges and other benefits granted by the government.
In the 2020 annual audit report for the PSHS, COA also chided the state-run school’s management for procuring from a private insurance company a group personal accident insurance for 532 students and the reversion of P82.4 million to the National Treasury due to low fund utilization and unimplemented projects.
The audit report sent by COA Director Martha Roxana Sese to PSHS Executive Director Lilia T. Habcon noted that the collection of P5,814,332.63 from 41 scholars of the Western Visayas Campus has long been overdue.
The scholars have been asked to return the amount spent on them by government for allegedly failing to take up courses related to science and technology as provided in their scholarship agreement with the government.
“Overdue receivables amounting to P5,814,332.63 from scholars of WVC who did not enroll in Science and Technology courses in colleges remained uncollected; thus, depriving the government of additional funds that could have been utilized to finance other priority programs and projects,” the audit observation said.
OA noted that under the scholarship grant given by government to deserving high school students, the “scholar awardee and his/her parents/guardian shall jointly and solidarily reimburse PSCH the monetary value of the Scholarship Award based on the rates approved by the PSHS Board of Trustees.”
Responding to the COA observation, the PSHS management explained that the WVC legal counsel has already sent out demand letters asking the defaulting scholarship and their guardians to return the monetary value of the scholarship cost.
Audit examiners said the PSHS must closely monitor the response of the concerned scholars and their guardians and be persistent in follow-up the collection.
COA also asked the PSHS to direct its legal counsel to “impose legal actions/remedies that may be pursued to rdcover the monetary value of the scholarship.”
The state audit agency also scolded the PSHS for its low utilization of funds, pointing out that in 2019, some P82.49 million was reverted to the national coffers for being unspent.
“Although the amount of reverted NCA seemed minimal, the aforementioned low utilization and the practice of transferring cash allocation in the last days of the year is indicative of Management’s poor planning of its procurement activities, cash programming and inefficient cash management,” COA said.
COA also asked the PSHS to work on the issuance of transfer certificate of title for two lots donated by the city government of Dipolog where government constructed nine infrastructure projects costing P207,891,388.36 in the PSHS-Zamboanga Peninsula Region campus.