Bayan Muna rep. Carlos Zarate wants a congressional investigation on “unrecorded” Malampaya funds amounting to about 25B.

Zarate made the call as the Energy Department presented its budget for 2018 to the House Appropriations Committee.

DOE collects the earnings from the  Malampaya  gas fields off Palawan and remits the money to the Treasury, which then puts the money in a special account for energy development projects.

Zarate told both media in a press conference and lawmakers of the budget committee, “recently may nilabas ang COA may 25B na di ma-account sa malampaya funds tinanong natin ang COA sumulat sila just recently sabi nahanap na nila 25B pero kasama sa 25B 4B na corporate tax na pinapasa sa pamahalaan dahil kasama na raw sa share ng pamahalaan

ito ang sa tingin ko kailangan imbetsugahan

may 20B na sa 25B na sinabi unrecorded SARO releases at pinasok lang sa libro 2017.

ganun kalaki. 20B unrecorded. bakit unrecorded alam natin 2014 SC nagpalabas ng desisyson na pondo ng malampaya di pwede gamitin kung saan saan lang”

Zarate notes that the Malampaya funds have been misused in the past. “ pinaglaruan ito ng mga nakaraang administrasyon kaya sa tingin ko dapat imbetsigahan ito ng kongreso

saan ano pinaggastahan ng 20B sa naiiwang pondo ng malampaya”

Zarate showed a letter from the COA which reported that the annual audit report of the BTR NG for CY 2016 states that the existence and accuracy of the Cash Treasury/Agency Deposit, Special Account DOE Malampaya as of December 31, 2016 amounting to P214.635B is unreliable due to discrepancies between the BTR subsidiary ledger for Cash Treasury Agency deposit Special Account DOE Malampaya and BTR Report on the Status of DOE Malampaya SAGF 151 amounting to P4.193B for remittances and P20.951B for releases for a total of P25,143,948, 868.73.

The letter states, “ The difference of P25,143,948, 868.73. was adjusted as of July 31, 2017 taking into consideration the following: Corporate Income Txes on banked gas and tax deficiency in excise tax charged against DOE Regular Account but was classified under DOE Malampaya Special Account amounted to P4,039,217,869.75 and unrecorded SARO releases in prior years take in up in books in 2017: P 20,950,715, 710.00”

during the budget hearing of the DOE, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told Zarate, “we just collect and remit that we’re not even a party to the disbursement mr chairman

lahat ng paggamit may pruseso in the process di po kami kasama”

The DOE is seeking a budget of 2.659B in 2018, slightly up from 2.657B in 2017.