AN ACCUMULATED P318.515 million in financial assistance released to 75 barangays in Cebu City since 2009 remained unliquidated as of Dec. 31, 2019.
This was part of the report the Commission on Audit (COA) submitted to Mayor Edgardo Labella early this year.
COA recommended instituting legal action against barangay officials who have failed to liquidate despite several demands.
City Hall, for its part, said it would send notices to these barangays and ask the barangay captains to present their side.
The funds were released from 2009 to 2019.
State auditors found out that funds transferred to the barangays still have unliquidated balance of P318,515,052.30 net of the financial assistance subjected to notices of disallowances (P362,612,494.84) and the assistance granted only in 2019.
In 2019, the City released P28,399.511 to five barangays: Malubog, P5 million; Pulangbato, P4.199 million; Sawang Calero, P5 million; Tejero, P8 million; and Tinago, P6.2 million.
Thirty-three of the 75 barangays that received financial assistance from the City have pending unliquidated funds.
The top 10 barangays with unliquidated funds are Barangays Kalunasan, P18.4 million; Poblacion Pardo, P14.7 million; Tisa, P13.09 million; Buhisan, P8.6 million; Babag, P6.8 million; Bacayan, P4.0 million; Sambag 1, P2.9 million; Sambag 2, P2.6 million; Mabolo, P1.7 million; and Pahina San Nicolas, P635,252.70.
According to COA Circular 94-013 dated Dec. 13, 1994, the Rules and Regulations in the Grant, Utilization and Liquidation of Fund Transferred to Implementing Agencies (IA) provides that within 10 days after the end of each month/end of the agreed period for the project, the IA shall submit the Report of Checks Issued and the Report of Disbursement to report the utilization of funds.
The same circular provides that one of the duties and responsibilities of the source agency (Cebu City Government) is to require the IA to submit reports and furnish the IA with a copy of the journal voucher taking up the expenditures.
In this case, the City, as the source agency, has to monitor the implementation of project/program/activity and require liquidation reports from recipient barangays.
From 2009 to 2019, P709,527,058.14 was released to 75 barangays. Of the said amount, P362,612,494.84 was issued notices of disallowances.
The top 10 barangays that received the biggest share of financial assistance in the past 11 years are Barangays Kalunasan at P33.8 million; Tisa, P23.5 million; Sawang Calero, P19.2 million; Lahug, P16.9 million; Punta Princesa, P16.7 million; Sambag 2, P16.5 million; Inayawan, P16.3 million; Cambinocot, P16.08 million; Budla-an, P15.7 million; and Poblacion Pardo, P15.3 million.
COA issued notices of disallowance to 57 barangays and notices of suspension to 59 barangays.
The top 10 barangays with disbursements that were issued notices of disallowances are Barangays Camputhaw, P11.08 million; Inayawan, P10.7 million; Apas, P10.3 million; Kalunasan, P10 million; Budla-an, P9.5 million; Punta Princesa, P9.3 million; Paril, P8.6 million; Calamba, P8.4 million; Sudlon 1, P8.4 million; and Sambag 2, P8.2 million.
According to COA rules, a notice of disallowance applies to the audit of disbursements deemed to be irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, illegal, or unconscionable expenditures or use of government funds and property.
Disallowances shall be settled within six months from the date the notice was received by the person liable or his/her authorized representative.
As of Dec. 31, 2019, COA suspended the disbursement of P197,296.450.48 of the P318,515,052.30 unliquidated funds.
The top 10 barangays with suspended disbursements are Barangays Lahug, P16.9 million; Guadalupe, P10.3 million; Kasambagan, P9.3 million; Basak San Nicolas, P7.3 million; Punta Princesa, P6.9 million; Bulacao, P6.7 million; Buot-Taup, P6.4 million; Cambinocot, P6.3 million; Tinago, P6.3 million; and Sirao, P6.2 million.
State auditors may issue notices of suspension for transactions of doubtful legality/validity/propriety to obtain further explanation or documentation.
A notice of suspension, under COA rules, should be settled within 90 calendar days from date of receipt of the notice, otherwise, the suspended transaction shall be disallowed/charged after the auditor shall have satisfied himself that such action is appropriate and consequently issue the notice of disallowance/notice of charge.
The continued inaction of the concerned recipient barangays on the suspended liquidations and the non-submission of liquidation reports resulted in the substantial balance of Cebu City’s account, the COA report said.
“These also understated the expenses in the years they were incurred, overstated the net income and correspondingly overstated government equity,” the report added. (MVG)