Yolanda: OCD finally uses up ‘idle’ funds for victims after 2 years – COA

Yolanda: OCD finally uses up ‘idle’ funds for victims after 2 years – COA
In 2014, state auditors criticized the Office of Civil Defense for its slow use of the funds, which should have been used to help victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda

MANILA, Philippines – Two years since the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) over central Philippines, the P923.154-million quick response fund (QRF) of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has been used, the Commission on Audit (COA) said.

In its 2015 report, state auditors noted that the OCD has used P507.78 milion of unutilized QRF for 2014, and P104 million out of its QRF allocation for 2015.

This comes after auditors scored the OCD in 2014 for its slow disbursement of the funds. The agency had spent only P66.09 million of its total P989.244 million QRF as of yearend 2014, leaving a total of P923,153,721 idle that should have been used immediately to help victims of the strongest typhoon to hit land.

In its latest audit report, COA said the OCD has complied with its audit recommendation to utilize the funds. The 2014 QRF releases were allocated for the purchase of equipment, supplies, fuel, and non-food items. The 2015 fund was allocated for disaster management operations and replenishment of contingency supplies.

The OCD explained that because of a revision of the rules on the use of the QRF, the many documentary requirements made the procurement process difficult, as it required the agency to prepare a procurement list for pre-positioning in strategic areas.

In late 2014, new guidelines on the use of the funds were issued to allow the OCD greater flexibility in responding to emergencies. – Rappler.com

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