COA to NKTI: Demand payment of clinic rentals from 127 medical consultants

A total 127 doctors rendering consultancy service at National Kidney Transplant Institute owe the state-run specialty hospital various amounts in rental payments for clinic spaces they are occupying.

The Commission on Audit said nearly P20 million in rental cost and electricity and water bills have remained unpaid by doctors, vendo and stall owners at NKTI as of December 31, 2020. Some of the arrears have aged for over five years now.

In the 2020 Annual Audit Report for NKTI, COA revealed that aside from rental fees, the doctors and vendo owners have also incurred arrearages in the payment of electricity and water bills.

NKTI was asked to demand the immediate settlement of the arrearages computed at P19.21 billion as of December 31, 2020.

` Auditors blamed “laxity or lapses” in collection efforts for the high amount of balances incurred by the lessees.

“Poor and inefficient collection of the Institute’s rental income from lease of consultants clinics and vendo stalls resulted in the accumulation of collectibles totaling P17.101 million and the corresponding light and water receivables from the lessees amounting to P2.111 million, as of December 31, 2020,” COA Director Cleotile M. Tuazon said in the audit report.

Audit examiners said the failure of NKTI to collect the rental arrears and light and water payments has deprived the state-run specialty hospital of “additional funds to finance other programs projects and activities.” Auditors noted that contracts of lease between the NKTI and doctors occupying clinic spaces provide that rentals will be due on or before the fifth day of every month “without need for demand.” The report disclosed that 127 medical consultants fo NKTI are alternately occupying 18 rooms as clinics and have “unpaid rentals which could be attributed to laxity or lapses in enforcing collection thereof.” According to auditors Statements of Accounts were not “regularly sent or served” to lessees.

“Since SOAs were not sent regularly or monthly, consultant-lessees were neither informed nor reminded of their outstanding liability with NKTI,” state auditors stated.

“It was also noted that the two percent (2%) penalty charge, as agreed upon in the contract were not enforced by the Credit and Collections Division against the delinquent lessees,” they added.

However, the bigger portion of the unpaid rentals are owed by vendo and stall operators. COA said these renters owe NKT P14.375 million of the P17.101 million total unpaid rental arrears.

The state audit agency advised the NKTI to ensure better control in its billing and collection procedures and revisit the provisions of the lease contracts.

In response, the NKTI vowed to comply with the COA recommendations. The management also disclosed that it has approved a waiver of rentals for specified number of months and granted lessees discounts as a result of the implementation last year of community quarantines by government.