COA asks City: Explain P190M-A A +A
Sunday, February 10, 2013
THE Commission on Audit (COA) has called the attention of the Cebu City Government to over P190.5 million in financial assistance given to 54 barangays in the city, as well as 14 other provinces, cities and municipalities.
Recipients of the cash assistance, some of which dated back to the time of former mayor now Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district), failed to submit liquidation reports.
State Auditor IV Atty. Eva Cabrera said the failure to submit liquidation violates COA Circular 94-013, which requires an accounting of the funds and disbursements made to implement a project.
In an audit observation memorandum (AOM) obtained by Sun.Star Cebu, COA said seven provinces and cities that received financial assistance in 2006, when Osmeña was mayor, failed to liquidate their cash aid.
These balances are from the Province of Cebu (P203,008.29), Province of Davao (P209.80), Calbayog City (P5,744.56), Dumaguete City (P252.40), Marawi City (P505.71), Pasay City (P151.27), and Toledo City (P362.50).
Asked about the matter, Osmeña said he can no longer remember the cash assistance given some seven years ago.
COA also noted the cash assistance extended by Mayor Michael Rama to seven municipalities and cities, as well as to the 54 barangays of Cebu City last year and in the previous year.
These, too, have yet to be accounted for.
For 2011, City Hall gave cash assistance to the municipalities of Cordova (P258,000) and St. Bernard in Southern Leyte (P300,000).
The latter was hit by landslides.
For 2012, Rama extended financial aid to the municipalities of Daanbantayan amounting to P500,000 for its Haladaya Festival and Compostela, amounting to P38,400.
In the same year, the mayor also gave cash aid to the Province of Negros Oriental amounting to P1 million after it was hit by a 6.9-earthquake, and P3 million to Cagayan de Oro and P2 million to Iligan City when they were hit by Typhoon Sendong.
Assistance totaling P183,232,119 was also given by the mayor in 2012 to 54 out of 80 barangays in Cebu City.
The recipients are Barangays Adlawon, Apas, Babag, Bacayan, Banilad, Basak Pardo, Basak San Nicolas, Binaliw, Budlaan, Buhisan, Bulacao, Busay, Calamba, Capitol Site, Cogon Ramos, Ermita, Guadalupe, Guba, Inayawan, Kalubihan, Kalunasan, Kamagayan, Kasambagan, Kinasang-an, Labangon, Lorega and Lusaran.
Also included are Parian, Paril, Poblacion Pardo, Pulangbato, Punta Princesa, Quiot, Sambag I, Sambag II, San Antonio, San Jose, San Nicolas, San Roque, Sapangdaku, Sawang Calero, Sinsin, Sta. Cruz, Suba, Sudlon I, Sudlon II, T.Padilla, Tabunan, Tagba-o, Talamban, Taptap, Tinago, Tisa, and Toong.
“Verification of the subsidiary ledgers disclosed that the implementing agencies failed to submit the report on the utilization (of the funds), thus proper accounting of the expenses has not been made,” said Cabrera in her two-page AOM. “Considering the length of time the financial assistance was given to the various local government units (LGU), and in view of the urgency of its purpose, it is evident that the said funds have already been utilized,” she added.
Based on the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the City and the recipients, Cabrera said, it was clear that a liquidation report had to be submitted to comply with accounting and auditing rules.
The MOA further states that if there will be unused funds after the implementation of a program or project, the balance will be turned over to the City.
Because of this, Cabrera recommended to the City to monitor the financial assistance given to various provinces, municipalities, cities and barangays and enforce the submission of a liquidation report.
Cabrera also asked the City to issue demand letters to the LGUs concerned to refund any balances of the financial assistance given.
City Accounting Diwa Cuevas told Sun.Star Cebu they have already complied with the recommendation of COA.
“We sent them demand letters,” she said.
Cuevas said she hopes the concerned LGUs will positively respond to their letter. If they fail to account for the cash assistance given, Cuevas said, they would no longer receive assistance from the City.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 10, 2013.