COA questions Guiuan's P1.148 M disaster fund expenses
MANILA, Philippines – Municipal officials of Guiuan in Eastern Samar may face sanctions after state auditors noted unexplained expenses from the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) in 2014.
Guiuan, badly hit by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in 2013, had set aside P1.148 million for "disaster preparedness." The amount comprises 70% of the local government's LDRRMF, according to a report by the Commission on Audit (COA).
Under Republic Act 10121, local government units are required to appropriate 5% of their regular revenues each year to finance the acquisition of emergency response equipment, training of personnel, and purchase of relief goods, among others, as part of its LDRRMF.
But COA said that Guiuan officials have failed to submit monthly reports and supporting documents on how the disaster fund was used.
“Monthly reports on the receipt and utilization of LDRRMF, disbursement vouchers, official receipts, journal entry vouchers, liquidation reports and required financial reports in relation to LDRRMF for CY 2014 were not submitted by the municipal treasurer and accountant…thus depriving management of timely and relevant audit results to support significant management decisions,” COA said.
The commission recommended the imposition of penalties against the officials for failing to submit the documents, in violation of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, Presidential Decree No. 1445 or the Auditing Code of the Philippines, and COA Circular No. 95-006.
“Management should impose the applicable administrative and penal sanctions …against the erring officials if warranted under the circumstances,” it added.
In its report, COA also said it sent the municipal government a request letter on December 18, 2014, asking for documents on the monthly reports on the receipt and utilization of the LDRRMF, receipts and donations received in behalf of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda and Ruby, and photos and documents related to the storage and distribution of goods.
The commission warned that the "unreasonable delay" and the local government's failure to submit the documents may result in the issuance of notices of disallowance or suspension, which would affect the future disbursement of funds. – Rappler.com