THE Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management shrugged off the Commission on Audit (COA) report that the city is not spending enough money, especially on infrastructure and on disaster preparedness and mitigation projects.
"How can we win Gawad Kalasag, kung sasabihin that we do not spend that much," City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Emmanuel Jaldon said.
Gawad Kalasag award was recently given to the city for best practices in programs for disaster mitigation.
As for the funding of evacuation centers, Jaldon said that the city is carefully planning what will be the structural function of the evacuation centers.
"Ang evacuation centers, ganito yan - Yes, we need more evacuation centers, we have to be careful on building one, what type of disaster it will serve, we go for small but with many uses, so that we will have flexible movement," he said.
He added that it is really the desire of their office to have permanent stations, and evacuation centers in all district.
Based on reports, according to the COA annual audit report, the local government only used 18.17 percent from the local disaster risk reduction and management fund. It also failed to implement its programmed infrastructure projects worth P23 million.
The COA warned that lack of spending for the said items could endanger the public and could be in violation of Republic Act 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010).
The Audit commission traced that the City Council had approved in 2016 a budget for the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Framework (DRRMF) of P309,454,707.
From the amount, 70 percent or P216,618,294.90 was earmarked for preparedness and mitigation activities, with P29,281,881.90 for maintenance and other operating expenses, P164,336,413 for capital outlay, and P23 million for infrastructure projects.
The remaining 30 percent "was set aside for Quick Response Fund (QRF)".
The COA feared that the non-spending of the disaster funds amounted to P253,215,865.87 or 81.83 percent as of December 15, 2016, or 18.17 percent of the local DRRMF (LDRRMF).
None of the disbursements from the LDRRMF was given out for infrastructure projects, the COA said.
"The non-implementation of the PAPs (programs, activities and projects) identified for preparedness and mitigation to support disaster risk management activities poses risk in the achievement of the desired goal of sustainable development, where the essential needs of the greater poor within the community must be given priority while taking into consideration the limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organizations on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs," the COA said.
The audit report recommended the immediate implementation of programs under the LDRRM for infrastructure among others "to prevent possible loss of life, damage to government and private property, and loss of livelihood".