Editorial: Unflattering COA findings-A A +A
Thursday, August 30, 2012
THE Commission on Audit (COA) just said a mouthful about how the Cebu City Government is handling its affairs. Then again, exposing what it considers as violation of guidelines is a function of state auditors, so Mayor Michael Rama need not fret.
Rather, he should take the COA’s finding to his study room and pore over it with an eye to finding ways to improve his running of the city.
The COA report tackled various topics: from the spending for the rehabilitation of the Cebu City Sports Center oval to the purchase of fire extinguishers, the use (or misuse) of city vehicles, down to unreturned and unlicensed City Hall firearms.
It is important, though, to listen first to the Rama administration’s response to State Auditor 4 Eva Cabrera’s finding. For all we know, an explanation can be had regarding the irregularities that Cabrera noticed. Even then, the finding should be taken as a guide.
How the city’s properties are being handled, for example, reflects the kind of management that is in place.
The following is not flattering to city officials: that the registration of 77 Cebu City government vehicles have not been renewed since 2011, and that some City-owned vehicles were used for beach parties, reunions, etc; or that some firearms the city government issued to City Hall officials were lost, while some of them were unreturned.
Ideally, this should prod the mayor to review his handling of the various aspects of governance (which is among the reasons why COA was created in the first place). But reality is different. More often than not, officials ignore COA findings or rant against them.
In a way, the release of the COA finding plays into the hands of Rama’s political rivals, like south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña, who heads the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK). Osmeña supporters have been portraying their idol’s management style as superior than that of Rama.
Then again, some failings that the COA report mentioned grew roots during the Osmeña administration. But that is little consolation for Rama because he should have acted on these when he took over. And in a way, it may already be too late for the mayor to act on the problem, engrossed as he is now in strengthening his reelection bid in 2013.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 31, 2012.