The Commission on Audit has recommended to the municipal government of Virac the formulation and adoption of written guidelines and policies in what it described as the “uncontrolled” hiring of Job Order workers.
According to the 2019 Annual Audit Report on the transactions of the capitol town, the COA stated that the municipality of Virac hired an average of 460 JO workers for CY 2019.
These JO workers were assigned to different offices including municipal offices, barangays and schools and other national offices, with the workers performing several functions including administrative and general services functions.
The auditors learned that the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO) had no direct participation in the hiring of JO workers but rather acted on recommendations and requests from department heads on who would be accepted or recruited monthly.
“The hiring had no criteria (functions, qualifications, prohibitions, etc.) but was done as the need arises and (on) the availability of funds,” it stressed.
Thus, the COA added, it could not be determined whether the total number of recruited JO workers were essential, necessary, met the demand of service and for emergency cases.
A review of the monthly lists of JO workers which were used as basis for payment of wages found several erasures and handwritten names of JO workers inserted every month.
There were instances that some JO workers were hired in an office or location without first informing the HRMO, with the latter only notified upon payment of wages to the JO workers, it said.
“Review of accomplishment reports (ARs) revealed that several clerks were hired for the same function resulting in duplication of work as shown by identical ARs submitted by JO workers assigned in one office,” the report stated.
“While the LGU has the discretion to directly hire JO workers to perform specific jobs and/or supplement manpower, management should be reminded that employment should be limited to the actual need of the office,” the COA averred. “And in no case should JO workers be made to perform functions of existing regular employees.”
It also suggested the management to direct the HRMO to control, monitor and update Job Order records every month and require the different offices to submit a schedule of the number of additional personnel to complement the workload of regular personnel indicating the functions to be performed.
P19.95 million in unused Development Funds
In 2019, LGU-Virac had a total budget of P55.33 million from current year and continuing appropriations for the implementation of various economic, social and environmental projects under its 20% Development Fund.
The audit showed that oP35.38 million or 63.95% was utilized, leaving a balance of P19.94 million which accounted for 36% of the total budget.
There was an unexpended balance of P6.21 million for debt servicing, showing the budget was overestimated and indicative of inadequate planning.
The 20% DF also included lumpsum appropriations totaling P4.8 million while another P2.22 million in projects were considered ineligible and thus unutilized.
Unimplemented programs, projects and activities totaling P4.73 million were due to delay in procurement process while savings from completed or discontinued projects totaling P1.99 million were not reverted and used to finance other 20% DF projects.
Low percentage of NGA-funded projects
Out of the 19 programs and projects funded by national government agencies, six were completed and 13 were for implementation as of 2019 year-end, for an accomplishment of 31.57%.
Fund transfers from the Department of Health (DOH) representing awards of the LGU for various achievements were not utilized for the benefit of senior citizens and other intended constituents while funding from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) was utilized for the procurement of a tricycle.