by Allan Yves Briones
The Commission on Audit (COA) ordered the provincial government of Surigao del Norte to work on liquidating outstanding fund transfers to various barangays and local government units (LGU), now totaling P126.31 million.
“(The provincial government of Surigao del Norte) failed to establish and impose controls and policies in granting fund transfers to Other Government/Implementing Agencies which could result to misuse of public funds,” COA stated in its 2018 annual audit report.
According to audit records, the provincial government had an outstanding balance of P126.31 million by the end of 2018.
Of the total amount, the largest balance belonged to various LGUs, of which 65.76 percent or P70.95 million were fund transfers to barangays in the province.
Source: 2018 Annual Audit Report on the Province of Surigao del Norte
“The Provincial Government did not strictly monitor the timelines of various Programs/Projects/Activities (PPAs) implemented by Other Government/Implementing Agencies that received funds,” COA said, adding that local officials even failed to submit liquidation and utilization reports.
Under Section 2 of Presidential Decree No. 1445, the provincial government is called upon to ensure that government resources are not subjected to loss or wastage. In addition, COA Circular No. 94-013 mandates that proper accounting and reporting of transferred funds be ensured in the local books.
The Provincial Accountant, as stated in the report, explained that demand letters were previously not issued to the delinquent implementing agencies. However, it agreed to do so to begin liquidating the fund transfers.
COA recommended that the provincial government require submissions of liquidation and utilization reports before releasing subsequent funds to ensure accountability with regards to fund transfers.