PH Red Cross not subject to COA audit, board officials say

Published September 3, 2021, 7:39 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) cannot be subjected to an audit by the Commission on Audit (COA) as it is a non-government organization (NGO), the PRC officials said.

Philippine Red Cross

The Board of Governors of the humanitarian organization made the statement after President Duterte said he wants state auditors to audit the PRC.

“Being that the PRC is not a government agency, it is not subject to audit by the Commission on Audit,” the members of the board said in a signed statement on Friday, Sept. 3.

“The PRC audit is conducted by a private international accounting firm which is also the auditor of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies which receives a copy of the independent audit report,” they added.

In a televised public address, President Duterte said he will demand the COA to audit the PRC to determine if the funds that the organization receive are being spent correctly.

The President also accused PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard Gordon of using the organizations as his “milking cow” when it comes to his election funds.

But COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo said that the state audit agency does not have any authority to audit the PRC.

The PRC board explained that the organization does not receive funds from the government for it is “a voluntary, independent, and autonomous, non-governmental organization” as defined by the Republic Act 10072 or the “Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009”.

“The bulk of our funds come from private donations of generous individuals, corporations, and partner international Red Cross and Red Crescent societies who trust in our ability to deliver life-saving services to the most vulnerable,” the board said.

Sometimes, agencies such as the Department of Health, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office voluntarily donate to the PRC for specific programs, they added.

“While these donations constitute a small part of our funds, they are properly liquidated and no dispute has ever been raised regarding them,” the board said.