By Jessa Mae O. Sotto, July 22, 2018; Cebu Daily News
Image Credit to Commission on Audit
THE Commission on Audit (COA) has asked the Cebu provincial government to explain the use of the P3.6 million from the Development Fund (DF) for the procurement of goods for office use, instead of development projects.
According to the state auditors’ 2017 annual audit report, the province disbursed a total of P3,655,261 from its 20 percent share of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) funds for the purchase of office supplies.
This violates a joint memorandum circular (JMC) from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) dated February 22, 2017 which states that the development fund (DF) is intended for development projects, COA said.
“The 20 percent DF shall be utilized to finance the LGU’s (Local Government Unit) priority development projects, as embodied in its duly approved local development plans and Annual Investment Program (AlP), which should be directly supportive of the Philippine Development Plan and Public Investment Program,” the JMC stated.
COA said that the provincial government beat the purpose of the funds which was for the implementation of development programs of the province.
“The improper use of the fund had defeated the government’s objective in allocating subject funds for development projects,” the COA report read.
COA recommended that Capitol stop the payment of claims charged against the 20 percent DF if the claims are not part of expenditures on development projects and programs under the JMC.
COA also asked the Capitol to make the necessary realignments of the appropriate funds, with the approval from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), to restore the questioned amounts to prevent audit disallowances.
Provincial Budget Officer Danilo Rodas, for his part, said that he will review the expenditures and submit a written explanation on those expenditures.