Sunday, January 3, 2016

COA on Marinduque Annual Audit Report 2014: Unspent money ballooned to P 142-million, Marinduquenos deprived of benefits


Unexpended amount deposited in High Yield Savings Account to earn interest according to COA. Then provincial government takes up a P300-M loan with interest amounting to the same unutilized balance?



20% Development Fund

21. The total unutilized balance of the 20% Development Fund had increased to P 142,578,663.34 as compared to the CY 2013 unutilized balance of P 105,933,256.93.

As per DILG-DBHM Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2011-1 dated April 13, 2011 providing the guidelines on the appropriation and utilization of the 20% Development Fund, it states that

"It is the responsibility of every Provincial Governor, City and Municipal Mayor and Punong Barangay to ensure that the 20% of the IRA is optimally utilized to help achieve desirable socio-economic development and environmental outcomes".

Review of the CY 2014 Status of Appropriations, Allotment and Obligation disclosed that out of the P 87,398,919.00 and P 129,855,965.39 consisting of current and continuing allotment for 20% Development Fund, only the total amount of P 74,676,221.05 was utilized during the year, leaving a significant unexpended amount of P 142,578,663.34.

While there were several programs and projects that were commendable in line with the policies and guidelines set forth by the DILG and DBM Joint Circular, we still noted the significant unimplemented amount and some charges which are not in accordance with the said joint circular. These include purchase of fuel, wages of Job Order hired, office supplies and materials, two-way radio for Tourism Office, accommodation of national and local officials, who attended the MIMAROPARAA held in the province in February 2014 and the like.




The Provincial Budget Officer stated that the unimplemented amount is due to their effort to withhold the release of appropriation for programs and projects not aligned with the Joint Circular which they recommended for proper programming to the higher management.

On the other hand, interview with the concerned personnel justified that in order to generate income out of the unexpended balance, they deposited majority of them under High Yield Savings Account in the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Although it is earning interest income for the agency, the fact still remained that multiple effects of investing them in capital outlay, such as infrastructures and development programs could produce much more benefit to the people who have been waiting for the implementation of development programs such as, much improved water systems, cemented roads, health centers, installation of street lightning system, irrigation system, etc. which in one way or another enhances economic growth and local tourism in the countryside.

As a result it deprived the constituents as well as the local government itself of benefits that could have been derived had the 20% Development Fund been utilized for the intended priority programs and projects as conceptualized under the joint circular.

This is a prior-year audit observation and finding.

In view of the foregoing, we reiterated our recommendation to:

d) See to it that the 20% Development Fund shall be fully utilized for priority programs/projects and activities for the benefit of the constituents and the local government itself in accordance with the provisions of DILG-DBM Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2011-1 dated April 13, 2011; and

e) Implement immediately the programs and projects pertinent to the unutilized balance of P 142,578,663.34 as embodied in the Annual Investment Plan. For unimplemented projects which are inconsistent with the governing rules and regulations, initiate amendments or realignment of projects to those that address the needs of the constituents as far as tangible projects and programs are concerned. This should be decided by the Provincial Development Council to be approved by the Executive Committee and concurred by the SP.

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