COA: Cavite LGU put to risk insurance and medical benefits of employees in 2020

Published June 17, 2021, 9:28 PM

by Ben Rosario

The Commission on Audit has revealed that the Cavite provincial government may have put to risk the health benefits and loan payments of its employees by failing to pay on time mandatory premium contributions to the Government Service Insurance Corporation, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Home Development Mutual Fund.

COA, in its 2020 annual audit report for the province, also noted that the province lost the opportunity to realize over P2.5-million additional income when it failed to deposit idle funds to a government bank or pay off interests for its outstanding loan balances.

COA also disclosed that the provincial government incurred lapses in the implementation of the Cavite Coffee Processing and Trading Enterprise that was completed “more than two years beyond the target date” of completion.

Auditors said the lapse also delayed the “delivery of benefits to the intended recipients” of the project.

Under the P7.6 million contract for the construction of the coffee processing plant, contractor Hexamindz Corporation was supposed to finish the project within 170 calendar days or on August 22, 2018.

However, actual completion was reported only on February 14, 2020, COA disclosed.

State auditors have also observed delays in the remittances of monthly premiums and employee loan payments to GSIS , noting that payments were made over a year way past the due dates.

Delays were also noted in the payment of employees’ premium contributions and loans due the HDMF and Philhealth.

Unremitted payments totaled over P350,000.

COA said the delayed remittances exposed the “province and the affected employees to payments of interests and possible suspension of benefits.” “The province could have earned at least P1,200,000.00 in interest and other income or saved P1,480,490.78 in interest expenses during the year 2020 had it considered placing the idle deposits of P168,017,075 at the Development Bank of the Philippines into a high yielding account or investments,” the COA report said.

Audit examiners said the provincial government could have saved money spent on loan interest had it decided to pay its outstanding loans amounting to P39.88 million from its idle funds.