by Allan Yves Briones
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has cost the government a little less than P8.5 million, according to a report released by the Commission on Audit (COA), due to inadequate planning and a lack of sufficient monitoring.
During the state auditors’ investigation, they found that 13,444 copies of various books and items, procured and published by CCP’s Cultural Content Department more than five years prior, had remained unsold and undisposed – some already obsolete or damaged.
According to the audit report, this is contrary to Section 2 of the Government Auditing Code which mandates that all government resources must be safeguarded against loss or wastage, with a view to ensure efficiency in all operations.
Among the roster of the 13,444 were books on Filipino architecture, plays, movies, dances and visual arts – even tapes of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, and two iconic sarsuelas: Dalagang Bukid and Paglipas ng Dilim.
COA said that the aforementioned wastage of government assets could’ve been prevented had CCP “properly planned the publication/procurement of books/inventories,” particularly with regards to the quantity produced.
In the same report, the state auditors emphasized that if there at least had been proper monitoring, the situation would be quite different.
“Disposal by way of donation or auction…could have been undertaken; thus, benefitting the public particularly students, teachers and enthusiasts, as well as attaining the objective of the CCP in disseminating Filipino creativity and artistic experience,” COA said.
Pursuant to the state auditors’ recommendations, CCP assured that they would maintain proper monitoring as a guide in effective planning for the future.
In addition, all 13,444 books, items are to be disposed either through public auction or donation to schools and other government agencies.