MANILA - The Commission on Audit (COA) told the Office of the Vice President (OVP) to improve its monitoring of government funds after 19 local government units which received a total of P28.189 million in anti-poverty funding failed to submit official receipts (ORs) and liquidation reports.
In the annual audit report on the OVP for 2018, government auditors noted that the following towns and cities failed to submit ORs:
- Veruela, Agusan Del Sur
- Tinambac, Camarines Sur
- San Remigio, Cebu
- Bato, Catanduanes
- Capalonga, Camarines Norte
- San Joaquin, Iloilo
- Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental,
- San Francisco, Cebu
- Sumilao, Bukidnon
- Carcar, Cebu
- Naga Cebu
- Tampakan, South Cotabato
- Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte
- South Upi, Maguindanao
- Pola, Oriental Mindoro
- Pilar, Sorsogon
- Tuburan, Cebu,
- Taft, Eastern Samar
- Piagapo, Lanao del Sur
Among the programs were tuition assistance, provision of bancas, classrooms, toilet bowls, cattle fattening, food processing, water irrigation.
Instead of ORs, only a certification was given to the OVP which is not the documentary requirement as prescribed in COA Circular No. 2012-001.
“It is of note that the absence of ORs casts doubt on the authenticity of fund transfers to IAs,” the COA report said.
The questioned funding is part of the P80 million budget of the OVP for locally funded projects under its Angat Buhay program.
Around P44.664 million was allotted for 2018, which includes the unliquidated P28.189 million, while P26.950 million was obligated for 2019.
Of the 29 projects for 2018, 7 were completed as of December 31, 2018, with additional 5 projects competed as of March 25, 2019.
“As discussed, the inadequate monitoring by the OVP of the required reports does not speak well on its advocacy of helping the poor. The advocacy does not end at transferring the funds. The agency needs to observe and oversee that funds were utilized as intended,” the COA report said.
Auditors told the OVP that it should demand from the LGUs the official receipts and remind them of the quarterly reports on fund utilization as provided in the 2018 General Appropriations Act.
The OVP, however, noted that communications have already been sent out to the LGUs.
“The OVP appreciates COA’s diligence in this matter and is in the process of completing the ORs required,” the OVP said in its reply to COA.
The OVP also told government auditors that it has formed a project management unit which will monitor the status of projects as well as the submission of ORs and liquidations reports.
“Rest assured that the OVP is fully committed to providing concrete interventions responsive to the needs of the farthest and poorest communities, and to supporting LGU projects aimed at local development and the full realization of devolved service delivery functions,” the OVP said.
The COA report also noted that the OVP has no “clear-cut procedure on the selection” of recipient LGUs.
“In its effort to continually improve its systems, the OVP is in the process of refining the qualification criteria for future projects, in order to ensure that the communities most in need are more effectively targeted and well-served,” the OVP said.
A copy of the COA report was received by the office of Vice President Leni Robredo on May 23, 2019.
The report can also be found on the COA website.