The provincial government has been advised to limit the number of hired or rehired personnel after the 2019 audit showed that it had 2,487 casuals, nearly four times the number of its permanent employees.
An audit team reiterated its recommendation from previous years that the administration require the human resource management office, department heads and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to enhance guidelines on the hiring or rehiring of personnel.
Specifically, it told the Capitol to limit the number of casual personnel based on the actual manpower needs of each office to avoid unnecessary government expenses.
It also asked for an assurance that Job Order (JO) or Contract of Service (COS) personnel do not perform functions of existing regular employees and a declaration that there will be no duplication of works among JO personnel assigned in one office.
The COA likewise proposed the strict monitoring of job accomplishments of all permanent personnel, ensuring that tasks assigned to them based on their job descriptions are not delegated to other persons, particularly to job order workers.
“After thorough study, Management may consider filling up the 115 vacant positions, particularly those with functions usually assigned to JO personnel,” it stressed.
Based on the report of the Provincial HRMO for 2019, there were a total of 3,126 personnel in the provincial government, broken down as follows: 626 permanent employees, 13 elective officials, and 2,487 JOs/Cos personnel assigned to various offices.
“The (JO personnel) was more than half of the total number of employees and 389.20 percent higher than the number of regular employees,” the auditors pointed out.
The SP had the highest number of casual workers at 905, followed by various national offices at 405, and the Office of the Governor with 238.
Of the 905 SP casuals, 741 were assigned to other offices, as follows: Schools/ALS/DepEd, 121; other provincial offices, 8; and, LGUs and Barangays, 612.
The Office of the Governor also had 405 casual workers assigned to other offices and LGUs.
The provincial and national offices with considerable numbers of JO/COS personnel are the following: Provincial Engineering Office (Administrative), 140; Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office (191); Eastern Bicol Medical Center, 174;
In reaction to the finding, the provincial government created a special concerns team to conduct a thorough review and inventory of job order employees to check for duplication of functions in the respective departments, divisions or units. It also forwarded a letter to the provincial board informing of the same audit observation for their comments.
The audit also found out that a 2017 Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) project, the Hunger Mitigation-Integrated Community Food Production (ICPF) remained partially implemented as of Dec. 31, 2019.
Intended to benefit 300 households in 25 barangays of Viga town, the project was funded with P5,875,000.00.
However, for 2019, only P1.3 million was spent for honoraria (P60,000.00), catering services (P555,672.00) and procurement of fruit-bearing tree and vegetable seedlings (P682,914.00).
The amount of P4.58 million or 77.9 percent of the project cost remained unutilized for more than three years, posting a very unsatisfactory rating in terms of project implementation and project accomplishment, the COA stated.
It urged the management to implement all approved revisions of the BUB project to avoid blacklisting of the LGU and to secure a memorandum of agreement with the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) to determine the conditions and terms of implementation of the BUB projects.
In his letter, the Municipal Agriculture Officer of Viga claimed that the reason for the partial implementation was the delayed procurement of farm inputs due to the procurement process.
The Provincial Agriculturist also informed that a supplemental catch-up plan was formulated to be implemented from November 2019 to December 2020.
Among the other significant findings in the 2019 audit report were the following: 21 projects were not implemented while 29 others were delayed among the 93 programmed socio-economic projects amounting to P179.47 million charged to the 20% Development Fund for CY 2019; absence of approved Integrated Provincial Solid Waster Management Plan; failure to perform opening and bid evaluation by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC); failure to submit monthly report on Sources and Utilization of DRRM Fund; and quarry grantees’ failure to submit monthly report on Sand, Gravel & Quarry pursuant to Provincial Ordinance No. 005-2012.
In the latter finding, it was revealed that not a single report was submitted to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office while the Monthly Extraction Reports submitted by all 23 authorized permittees to the Provincial ENRO lacked information as to the amount of fees paid, total quantity sold, selling price, proof of receipt, name of buyer and balance of the minerals, and affiant information in the sworn affidavit.