THE House of the Representatives recently approved on third and final reading a bill which requires the Commission on Audit (CoA) to examine all the funds and transactions of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), including its revenues, income and expenditures.
Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, author of House Bill no. 5605, said the proposed measure seeks to amend Presidential Decree no. 1869 issued by the late President Ferdinand Marcos which limits the audit jurisdiction of CoA to five percent of Pagcor’s franchise tax and 50 percent of the gross earnings pertaining to the government’s share.
“The continuing tax exemption of PAGCOR up to the present time is anachronistic to the 1987 Constitution,” he said.
Mandanas cited Section 3, Article IX of the Charter stating that “no law shall be passed exempting any entity of the government or its subsidiaries in any guise whatever, or any investment of public funds, from the jurisdiction of the CoA.”
He said the Charter also stated that the “CoA shall have the power, authority and duty to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, pertaining to, the government-owned or controlled corporation (GOCC) with original charters, and on a post-audit basis.”
“Pagcor seems to be the only entity that defies the provisions of the Constitution,” he said.
The lawmaker said the 1987 Constitution is paramount and superior to any law that preceded it.
“The existing exemption of Pagcor from CoA audit jurisdiction should be revoked, and its transactions and funds, incomes and expenditures, should now henceforth subject to CoA’s audit jurisdiction,” he said. Philippine News Agency