SEVERAL non-government organizations (NGO) and people’s organizations (PO) have failed to account for the P68.97 million worth of financial assistance that they received from the Cebu City Government.
This, as some of City Hall’s tax collectors failed to remit P42.3 million worth of funds.
These are among the 43 findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) in a review of the City’s financial transactions and operations in 2013.
For the NGO’s and people’s organizations (Pos), COA Cebu City State Auditor IV and audit team leader Cymbeline Celia Uy said the City should ask them to liquidate the cash aid given to them.
The failure of the organizations to submit a liquidation report, Uy said, violates COA Circular No. 2007-001 dated October 2007.
It provides that NGOs and POs shall submit fund utilization report 60 days after the completion of the project.
Uy said the financial assistance given to the NGOs and POs covered the year 2012 and the previous years.
COA, however, did not provide names in the annual audit report of the NGOs and POs that still have unliquidated financial assistance except for Pagtambayayong Foundation.
COA said they are still to account P785,000 out of the P1 million cash aid given to them by the City.
However, the City Accounting Office, in a reply, said hat the foundation has already submitted a liquidation report last May 21, 2013.
Uy said the City plays an active role in the monitoring of the submission of NGOs and POs of liquidation reports as it is among the provisions provided for under the memorandum of agreement they have with the City.
A comment of the City incorporated by COA said that they are already regularly sending demand letters to the concerned NGOs and POs.
COA recommended to the City that the utilization report be submitted immediately.
For the tax remittances, COA ordered the City to recover P42.3 million worth of funds from its accountable officers and employees.
Uy said the amount represents shortage of remittances by the collectors from 2006 until November 2013.
Of the total amount, Uy said P41.44 million had been the subject of a criminal case that the court has decided with the concerned accountable officers already criminally convicted.
“No legal proceedings were instituted against the properties of the defaulting employees to recover the amount malversed,” Uy said.
The shortage on remittances, Uy said, indicates a “breakdown” of the internal control of the City.
He said cash are not safeguarded from physical loss such as possible fraud and
Presidential Decree 1445, otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines, provides that public officers authorized to receive and collect taxes, revenues or receipts of any kind shall remit or deposit intact the full amount.
“The continued inaction of concerned officers to establish written policies and sanctions to refrain collectors from under remittance had deprived the City from the immediate use of such funds for priority projects. It also created an environment among concerned collectors that such as is tolerable by the management,” she said.