COA: BFAR loses out on P9M understated fines
The Commission on Audit (COA) has called out the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for losing out on P9.013 million in fines because the imposed penalties were computed below the threshold set by the rules.
In its 2017 annual audit report, the COA said the BFAR Adjudication Committee had not complied with Section 131.2 of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) Number 10654.
Under the said rule, the committee may impose a “settlement penalty” for violations of the Philippine Fisheries Code instead of bringing criminal charges to court.
But, the rule stated the settlement should be lower than 30% of the minimum imposable penalty, or not lower than 50% if an answer had already been filed to refute the charges.
“We recommended and Management agreed to require the BFAR Adjudication Committee to strictly impose the compromise settlement on various violations under Section 131.2 of the IRR of RA 10654,” the report said.