The 2017 COA Reports: Bagamanoc charged office supplies to SEF
Bagamanoc, Catanduanes  ·  
posted 30-Jul-2018  ·  
546 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

The Local School Board of the municipality of Bagamanoc used a portion of the Special Education Fund (SEF) budget to purchase office supplies in violation of a government circular governing the use of such funds intended mainly for the construction and maintenance of public schools.

This was among the significant findings of the Commission on Audit in its review of the local government’s various transactions for the past year.

In its 2017 Annual Audit Report, the government watchdog noted that the school board approved a budget of P330,546.96 for priority education projects supposed to be for the construction and repair of school facilities, operation and maintenance of public schools, and acquisition of books, instructional materials and equipment, including IT resources.

The actual disbursements, however, included several payments made to suppliers for the delivery of office supplies for the Alternative Learning System (ALS), Bagamanoc Rural Development High School (BRDHS) and LGU Bagamanoc in the total amount of P29,703.00.

“Textbooks, instructional materials and the likes are allowed to be charged against SEF, but not Office Supplies, hence expenses of this nature are not chargeable to SEF,” the report noted.

It clarified that while the expenses may not be considered lawful, these should not be charged against the SEF but may be charged against other funds whenever authorized.

The COA recommended that the mayor require the LSB to use Section 1 of Republic Act 5447 and Section 272 of RA 7160 as well as pertinent provisions of Joint Circular No. 01, series of 1988, of the DECS, DILG and DBM in preparing the budget and authorizing the expenditures charged to SEF.

The audit team likewise found out that the 70% allocation of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Fund was barely utilized by the municipality.

For 2017, the LGU allocated P2,923,787 for LDRRM, of which 30% or P808,870 was for the Quick Response Fund (QRF) while 70% or P2,114,916 was for disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery. Adding amounts from continuing and previous years’ appropriations, the 70% allocation came up to P5,252,101.

Verification made by the team showed that only P1,633,100 or 31 percent of the total available funds for 70% Mitigation Fund was utilized by the LGU.

“The purpose of DRRM that aims to build capacities needed to manage all types of emergencies and achieve orderly transition from response to sustained recovery may not be completely met,” the commission stated as it recommended that the chief executive adopt measures to maximize the fund’s utilization.

In response, the LDRRM officer informed that some of the funds were being saved as the LGU is planning to build an ideal Operations Center and a bigger evacuation center. The mayor suggested that the municipality may outsource the needed funds from national agencies.

Among the other findings were the following: the LGU’s falling short of allocating at least one percent (1%) of its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for the strengthening and implementation of the programs, projects and activities of the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC); failure to conduct a training for solid waste management staff on the collection, transport and handling of wastes; failure to include representatives from the NGO sector, recycling industry and manufacturing or packaging industry in the Municipal Solid Waste Management Board; failure to allocate enough funds for the implementation of the programs, projects and activities under the Gender and Development Program; and, non-submission of perfected contracts and supporting documents to COA for contract review.

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