The 2017 COA Reports: Viga failed to utilize funds for disaster prep, education
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The delayed approval of the budget of the Local School Board led to the failure of the Viga municipal government to utilize its allocation for education programs and projects in 2017.

An audit review of the LGU’s transactions for the year disclosed that no obligations or disbursements were made out of the amount appropriated for the Special Education Fund (SEF) from the one percdent SEF tax.

The auditors found out that for the year, the Local School Board convened and approved Local Board Resolution No. 1 approving the P713,900.00 SEF budget for priority education projects only on Oct. 9, 2017.

The allocation from purely Income Tax revenues was supposed to be allocated for the Viga East District (P242,000.00), Viga West District (P374,900.00), and Secondary Schools (P97,000.00).

“The non-disbursements of SEF fund was attributed to delayed approval of School Board Budget which in turn resulted to delayed submission of the school beneficiaries of their request for funding for their identified programs and projects,” the report stated.

It urged the local chief executive, as chairman of the school board, to direct school officials to facilitate approval of the school board budget for the recipient schools to be able to submit early their request for funding on their identified programs and projects for them to make use and maximize utilization of the funds allocated.

The COA also recommended that the school board closely monitor the implementation of the various programs, projects and activities embodied in the SEF annual budget.

The same review also discovered that the LGU barely utilized the 70 percent Mitigation Fund set aside in the 2017 Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.

It said that for the year, the municipality allocated P4,197,966.00 for LDRRM, with 30 percent or P1,259,389 for the Quick Response Fund (QRF) while 70 percent or P1,259,389 was for disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery.

Added to the P7,764,115 continuing appropriation for the same fund, the total amount for the 70% came up to P10,702,692 for 2017.

“Verification of the Statement of Appropriation, Allotments, Obligations and Balances (SAAOB) for CY 2017 LDRRMF showed that the Municipality utilized only P2,706,770 or only 25 percent of the 70 percent Mitigation Fund, thus, the purpose of disaster risk reduction and management that aims to build the capacities needed to efficiently manage all types of emergencies and achieve orderly transitions from response to sustained recovery may not be completely met,” the audit report stressed.

It urged the LCE to adopt measures to maximize the utilization of the 70 percent allocation for disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery in order to effectively anticipate, respond to and recover from the impacts of likely, imminent and current hazardous events or conditions.

The management, however, explained that some of the funds were saved purposely for some future projects like the construction of evacuation center, while ongoing projects started in 2017 will be fully paid in 2018.

Other significant findings in the report were: failure to issue demand letters to officers and employees with unliquidated cash advances totaling P219,293.00 as of Dec. 30, 2017; unexpended balances of funds from national government agencies totaling P466,485.00; non-conformity of the reconstituted Local Clouncil for the Protection of Children (LCPC) with the rules and regulations as to membership composition; inability of the LCPC to carry out their duties and responsibilities; failure to allocate 1% of the IRA as budget for programs and projects for the protection of children and youth; absence of training for solid waste management staff and non-compliance with proper handling, collection, and transport of solid waste; allowing regular employees to receive a net take home pay of lower than P4,000; failure to observe proper accounting procedures in the procurement of P2.3 million worth of materials and equipment; and, allowing elected officials to claim travel  expenses without specific purpose and destinations.


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