Capitol needs PB approval to assist LGUs: COA-A A +A
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
THE Commission on Audit (COA), in its 2011 report for Cebu Province, emphasized the need for the chief executive to seek the approval and authority of the Provincial Board (PB) in the distribution of financial assistance to calamity-stricken LGUs.
COA said financial assistance, donation of NFA rice and bottled water totaling P27.139 million to local government units were given without the PB’s approval and evaluation of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) education.
This is required in Section 21 of Republic Act 10121, or “An Act Strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management System.”
The report also pointed out the need for the governor to seek the PB’s authority in signing contracts.
“Several contracts undertaken by Cebu Province, totaling P192.820 million were still not supported with a Sanguniang Panlalawigan resolution,” the report said.
This is not in accordance with Section 22 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and a Supreme Court declaration.
The Provincial Budget Officer said the disbursement for financial assistance to LGUs declared under state of calamity had been made in accordance with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (PDRRMP).
The plan is prepared by the interim PDRRM officer, in collaboration with the Provincial Budget Officer and Provincial Planning and Development Officer.
It said the PDRRM plan had been transferred into the Executive Annual Budget which was approved by the PB Resolution 2012-2010.
The passage of the resolution enacting Appropriation Ordinance 2010-11 served as the SP approval as required under Section 21 of RA 10121.
But COA said that there was no document presented to show that the PB was aware or if its approval was sought.
The recipient LGUs were Albay, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete, Tanjay, Iligan City and Valencia Negros Oriental.
The auditor’s rejoinder stated that the creation of PDRRM council was long overdue. PB records showed the ordinance creating PDRRMC was passed in second week of March 2012.
In their recommendation, the use of the LDRRM fund disaster councils of other LGUs shall be approved by the PB and evaluated by the local disaster council of the province.
COA recommended that the provincial accountant must require the submission of proof of withdrawals of the 2,750 sacks of rice from the warehouses and receipts that they were received by the LGUs.
In the exit conference and management reply to the audit, the Provincial Legal Office said there is no need for the governor to secure authority from the PB because the appropriation ordinance already served as authorization.
COA also noted that the 20-percent development fund budgets for 2010 and 2011 and the annual procurement plan showed that some items were still in generic terms and in lump sum appropriation.
“Management should follow strictly the provision of the law and the applicable Supreme Court jurisprudence on the necessity of a Sanguniang Panlalawigan resolution that authorizes the Provincial Governor to enter into contract for procurement not only of infrastructures but also of goods and services when these are not described in sufficient details in the appropriation ordinance,” COA said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2013.