Mamasapano town earns COA praise for women-friendly programs
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) commended the local government of Mamasapano, Maguindanao for completing programs and projects targeted for women.
"The management should be acknowledged for their effective utilization of their 5% Gender and Development Fund and be commended for the completion of its various programs which are beneficial to its constituents, particularly the women," read COA's 2016 audit report on the municipality, released on June 29.
State auditors praised the Mamasapano local government's implementation of its Gender and Development (GAD) programs and use of its 20% Economic Development Fund and Special Education Fund.
Mamasapano was able to allocate the full 5% of its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) or around P3.37 million, for its GAD Fund, as mandated by law.
The local government funded projects such as livelihood trainings, enrolled women in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), conducted anti-sexual harassment workshops, built a GAD training center, and even worked on sanitation issues.
COA also said the municipality used 20% of its IRA or around P12.505 million to fix 4 existing farm-to-market roads, desilt and dredge waterways, and repair a flood-control dike, among others.
The Special Education Fund – P165,000 – was used to repair public school buildings in the municipality.
State auditors said the Mamasapano local government managed to make "optimal use" of its limited resources through programs that made a big impact on residents.
The local government wants to focus on social development and environment management projects for 2017.
COA recommended that the local government include disaster, calamity, and crisis-preparedness programs for women in their locality for 2017. It also recommended that the Special Education Fund be used to improve school facilities and equipment, conduct education research, purchase books, and develop sports programs.
Mamasapano is infamous for being the site of a deadly clash between local armed groups and members of the Philippine National Police's Special Action Force (SAF) in 2015. SAF troopers were on a mission to neutralize wanted Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, who was hiding in a remote village in the town.
The botched operation claimed the lives of more than 60 Filipinos, including 44 SAF troopers as well as armed men and civilians. – Rappler.com