(The Tribune resumes its series of reports on the COA Annual Audit Reports for 2020 covering the rest of the 11 municipalities of Catanduanes.)
In its report on the local government unit’s 2020 transactions, the Commission on Audit has commended the municipality of Gigmoto for the timely execution and completion of development projects.
The government watchdog stated that of the 26 development projects charged to the current and continuing appropriations in the 20% Development Fund, 18 were completed by the end of the year and one was ongoing while the other seven were reprogrammed for implementation for 2021
However, the audit team noted that an interview with some constituents in District I, II and III revealed that the water system which was rehabilitated that year for P0.77 million was not functioning well.
The auditors also urged the LGU to continue the good work in the implementation of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) projects costing P2 million, with 20 of 24 projects completed, substantially attaining the LGU’s activities directed towards averting the adverse impact of disasters caused by calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it said that one project was partially implemented and four were not, resulting in unutilized funds amounting to P416,000.
With regards to the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP)/Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the agency said the requirements for disbursements totaling P5.56 million were not complied with.
Although it agreed that the funds were fully utilized and liquidated, there were beneficiaries who had received the cash assistance even if SAC forms were not accomplished.
“This indicated weakness in control and verification of records,” the team said, noting that a review of the masterlist of beneficiaries disclosed some deficiencies.
In one adverse finding, the COA team found that the LGU was assessed accumulated interest and penalty amounting to P122,257 and P23,768, respectively, due to non-payment of loans payable before due date.
The loan was secured by the LGU through the Municipal Development Fund Office (MDFO), which assigned the loan agreement to the Land Bank of the Philippines.
“There was negligence in non-payment of loan amortization, and the interests and surcharges accruing thereto should be borne personally by the liable official or employee,” the COA stressed, citing Sec. 368b of the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual (GAAM) Volume I.
It recommended that the treasurer request for reconsideration with LBP for the late amortization payment, otherwise, she and other liable persons will personally shoulder the amount.