Only a third of the development projects in Gigmoto town were completed in 2015, accounting for a “dismal” performance for the local government unit that also failed to approve its school board fund and accomplished little in terms of disaster preparedness.
In its audit of transactions in the LGU for said year, the Commission on
Audit found out that out of the 14 approved projects under the 20% Economic Development Fund, only four were implemented while two were partially implemented.
With 70% and 50% accomplishment were the concreting of Pena Francia (Ilawod) District 3 barangay road worth P1 million, and the construction of 6m x 8m vermiculture building costing P500,000.00, respectively.
The administration of former Mayor Edgar Tayam failed to complete within the year some P3.5 million worth of projects, including the construction of water system at Poblacion, tourism standard toilets at Nahulugan Falls, construction/rehab of day care centers, rehabilitation of multi-purpose building and public market, establishment of shallow “buya” (buoys) and/or motorized banca to seven coastal barangays, cassava production and processing, and construction of barangay materials recovery facilities (MRFs).
Municipal officials reasoned that they were not monitoring the implementation of the current EDF projects because they were giving priority to the implementation of the previous year’s 20% EDF projects.
A check of the town’s Statement of Financial Performance showed that in the case of the Special Education Fund (SEF) for 2015, there was no data for current expenditures. An interview with the municipal accountant revealed that this was due to the fact that there was no disbursement charged to the 2015 SEF as the Local School Board failed to prepare and approve the annual budget for SEF.
Pursuant to Sections 99 & 100 of Republic Act 7160, the Board is supposed to determine the annual supplementary budgetary needs for the operation and maintenance of public schools within the municipality, including the construction, repair and maintenance of schools, establishment and maintenance of extension classes, and sports activities.
In the case of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund for CY 2015, the COA discovered that out of the 22 programs and projects worth P1.869 million, 17 were not implemented. These unimplemented projects include the purchase of relocation site, waste bins, relief goods stockpiling, purchase of medical equipment and supplies, and emergency response trainings, among others.
The auditors also learned that the MDRRM Office is headed by the Municipal Social Work Development Officer, whose office has a lot of tasks and programs.
“Verily, the department head of one office with many tasks, cannot efficiently run the affairs of another office with equally enormous and demanding tasks,” the COA stated, as it recommended the appointment of a permanent employee to take charge of the LDRRMO.
Also in the report was the unliquidated cash advances of former and current officials and employees that reached P547,279.53 at yearend of 2015 due to the non-adherence to the rules and regulations in the granting, utilization and liquidation of cash advances.
Eighty percent of the advances amounting to P439,161.53 are past due for more than a year, including P420,737.85 granted to deceased, resigned or retired officers and employees. The possibility of liquidation of these cash advances are nil, the auditors pointed out. Among the largest are those of former and now recently elected Mayor Armando Guerrero with P239,917.55 and deceased former Vice Mayor Amparo Sarmiento with P103,601.00.
The management promised to comply with the COA recommendation that the LGU demand the immediate liquidation of the advances from those who have already transferred, retired or separated from the service, and to file a request to write off the advances of already deceased employees.
On the other hand, the report noted that the negotiated purchase of 148 square meters of land costing P265,000.00 at P1,800.00 per square meter from Agnes Tolledo in November 2015 was accompanied by only three supporting documents, contrary to the COA requirement of 16 documents. It also noted that the valuation of the land was provided by the municipal assessor, not by an independent appraiser as required.
The procurement of 20 marine motor engines for distribution to fishermen as part of the livelihood program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the LGU was not supported by a list of beneficiaries or any deed of undertaking, preventing the validation of the project’s status.
Auditors also found that eight Sangguniang Bayan members and the SB secretary purchased cellphones worth a total of P86,400.00 on reimbursement basis, when such procurement should have been made through public bidding. The transaction was not subjected to evaluation by the Bids & Awards Committee (BAC), with no document attached showing the adoption of an alternative method of procurement.
Among the other notable findings were: absence of delivery terms in Purchase Orders and, unreconciled account balances per ledger and per cashbook balance that showed a difference of P1,335,650.46.