THE bulk of the P913 million suspensions and disallowances of the Cebu City Government were incurred by the previous administration, Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. said Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.
He said the City already filed its response with the Commission on Audit (COA) after the exit conference last February. They have also been sorting out which transactions were suspended and disapproved.
Casas said the City has already implemented all the recommendations made by the state auditors, including the recommendation to direct the barangays to implement the mandatory segregation of solid waste.
However, he said there is still a need to wage a more extensive information campaign on the importance of garbage segregation as recommended by COA.
In its annual audit report, COA also noted that Casas said the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office and the Department of Public Services were already implementing segregation at source.
“There will be no more transfer station because the solid waste will go to a specific company. They hoped that next year, they can address this issue properly,” the COA report stated.
On Nov. 12, 2019, the City purchased 21 six-wheeler garbage trucks worth P147.780 million to boost garbage collection efforts.
In their report, state auditors said the City could have saved millions of pesos had it implemented the mandatory segregation of solid wastes and other provisions of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Act.
But the City failed to actively implement this despite the issuance of an audit observation memorandum (AOM) from the prior year’s audit.
“In our review of the budget and disbursements of the SWM Fund, we have observed that the City expended a significant amount on the rental of vehicles used for the hauling of the solid wastes that were charged to the maintenance and other operating expenses of the fund,” the report said.
COA said the City disbursed P108.480 million and P69.463 million in the first six months of 2019 for the collection and transport of solid wastes from the source to the Inayawan transfer station.
These were charged to the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of the SWM fund.
The City rented trucks from Pasajero Motors Corp. for hauling of the wastes and contracted Geo-Transport and Construction Inc. to collect the solid wastes.
From the Inayawan landfill, the garbage was hauled to its final destination in Aloguinsan, Cebu.
The City contracted Pasajero Motors Corp. and Jomara Konstruct Corp. for the hauling of solid wastes.
In 2018, the City disbursed P244.997 million for the 184,799 tons of wastes transported by both Pasajero and Jomara.
In the first six months of 2019, the City disbursed 95.377 million for the 74,556 tons of wastes.
An average of 409.51 tons of garbage was collected by the City each day from Jan. 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019.
City Ordinance No. 2031, enacted in 2004, requires households to segregate wastes into biodegradable waste, non-biodegradable waste, recyclables, and hazardous waste.
The ordinance also requires proper disposal of waste on the respective days of collection set by the Cebu City Solid Waste Management (SWM) Board.
State auditors interviewed barangay officials and found out that 21 out of 80 barangays of Cebu City have adopted the city ordinance for the segregation of solid wastes.
However, not all of their constituents complied with the mandatory segregation.
Some of the barangay officials claimed that fines and penalties provided by the city ordinance were not successfully enforced by the city. As a result, their constituents did not bother to segregate their wastes.
Auditors also conducted an ocular inspection of the Inayawan landfill (transfer stations) and found that several trucks transported unsegregated solid wastes from the different parts of the city, which in turn are transported to the Aloguinsan landfill.
“The amount payable to the providers was based on tonnage of garbage per trip. The City spent higher due to heavier garbage. Had these garbage been segregated into biodegradable, non-biodegradable and recyclable waste from its source, the City could have saved a significant amount of money. The recyclable waste will undergo the recycling program and the biodegradable waste will undergo the composting program, leaving only the non-biodegradable to be disposed of in the landfill,” the report said.
Casas said most of the issues raised by COA are due to recording concerns.
He said the change in administration affected recording of transactions.
He cited the buses received by the City which were purchased by the previous administration.
“These are purchases sa time pa ni mayor (Tomas) Osmeña. These are inherited transactions. Pagdeliver sa atoa, wa pay OR and CR (official receipt and certificate of registration),” explained Casas.
“We cannot report this as an asset because there is still no OR and CR,” he said. (MVG / JJL)