by Allan Yves Briones
The Commission on Audit (COA) sought an explanation from the provincial government of Davao del Norte regarding its overpayment of P19.65 million to a private contractor in 2018.
“[T]he overpayment…had posed a risk of loss of government fund. Also, this deprives the government the interest income that could have derived therefrom,” COA said.
In the 2018 annual audit report, state auditors found that in the road upgrading of Anahaw-Maligaya in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, the provincial government excessively paid private contractor Monolithic Construction and Concrete Products, Inc. (MCCPI) out of state coffers.
From audit records, Davao del Norte paid Monolithic in two parts: the first for P14.1 million, and the second for P35.57 million – the calculations for which were flagged as incorrect by state auditors.
Source: 2018 Annual Audit Report on the Province of Davao del Norte
According to COA, the second payment did not consider the value of work previously paid in the first billing.
“The gross certified amount of P23,468,436.47 should have been deducted from P47,522,267.99, the gross amount to be paid to (MCCPI) in the second billing, before computing (tax deductions),” the report stated.
The second billing, according to state auditors, should have only been for P15.91 million.
COA urged the local accounting office to ensure the correctness of the amount paid to contractors “by performing re-computation, thorough scrutiny of supporting documents and proper coordination with the concerned preparers of (disbursement vouchers).”
In the report, Davao del Norte officials admitted their lapses, and reported that the overpayment has been deducted against the contractor’s third billing.