Requesting Entity: Manila International Airport Authority
Issues Concern: Composition of the Bids and Awards Committee
Whether or not the Assistant General Manager for Finance and other officers and employees belonging to the said Office, who certify as to the availability of funds and approve vouchers in payment of the goods and services, and infrastructure projects procured by the MIAA, are covered by the prohibition on the Chief Accountant and any personnel of the Accounting Unit of any agency to become regular members of the BAC, brought about by the Commission on Audit (COA) Circular No. 2003-004 dated July 30, 2003.
The functions of the Chief Accountant and any personnel under him that may conflict with the functions of a regular member of the BAC include approving the vouchers in payment of the goods and services, and infrastructure projects procured; and the act of certifying as to the availability of funds for the project subject of the bidding. These seem to be the functions given to the Assistant General Manager for Finance of MIAA and to other employees under the said Office, as mentioned in your letter.
With that, we respectfully concur with the opinion of the COA, through its Assistant Commissioner and General Counsel Raquel R. Ramirez-Habitan, that “the prohibition contained in COA Circular No. 2003-004 dated July 30, 2003 is not limited to the Chief Accountant and any personnel under him but extends to such other officers and employees who certify as to the availability of funds and approve vouchers in payment of the infrastructure projects, goods and services procured by the agency.” It must be noted that the said COA Circular No. 2003-004 was issued by the COA by virtue of its exclusive authority to promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations under Article IX-D, Section 2 (2) of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. As such, the COA has the sole prerogative and authority to interpret and explain the rationale behind the promulgation of all accounting rules and regulations issued by the said Commission.