COA calls out Iloilo gov't on poor implementation of toilet project
ILOILO, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has called out the Iloilo provincial government for the poor implementation of a project to provide 3,636 toilets to the poorest families in the province.
In a Value for Money audit released on Tuesday, June 13, the COA said some of the toilet bowls did not go the intended beneficiaries, while others were still wrapped in their original packaging 3 years after the project was launched.
“Proper planning, logistics, timeline, monitoring and system of accountability were not established prior to implementation thus resulted in material wastage and unaccounted toilet bowls and bags of cement," COA said.
The implementation of the plan was meant to be a partial solution to a provincial problem.
According to a 2011 report from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), one in 5 households in the province – about 75,000 households – did not have sanitary toilets.
The Local Government Unit Scorecard of Health said only 80% of the total number of households in the province had at least one proper toilet. The national target is supposed to be 91%.
The provincial government paid P5.05 million in 2014 to buy and set up 3,636 toilet bowls for families in need.
The target families were the poorest of the poor, and consideration was based on the list of recipients of the national government’s Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and the National Household Targeting System- Poverty Reduction (NTHS-PR).
The effort would have added a percentage point to the province’s toilet-to-household ratio.
Politics reportedly weakened the effectiveness of the project.
At least 1,100 toilet bowls and bags of cement were distributed based on the requests of barangay officials and municipal mayors. The Provincial Health Office (PHO), which was tasked to implement the project, failed to step in.
“The requests were not supported by pre-determined beneficiaries and number of households without toilets under the CCT program, hence there was no basis for the PHO to validate whether or not the beneficiaries were qualified and whether the quantity requested was correct," COA said.
This was evidenced by distribution numbers for the toilets. The town of Lemery was allocated toilet bowls equal to 75% of the numbers of reported households without toilets. Concepcion, meanwhile got 51% of the number of reported households without toilets. Other municipalities ended up with shares of 16% to 25% of their requirements.
Passi City received no toilets.
The Iloilo provincial government was unable to submit the list of pre-determined beneficiaries, as well as copies of the memoranda of agreement with municipal and city governments and the timelines and monitoring reports.
The COA said that based on interviews with rural sanitary inspectors of the municipalities, "some of the toilet bowls were distributed simultaneously with the distribution of motor bancas...while some were granted to barangay officials...thus depriving the intended beneficiaries."
Auditors also found 28 toilet bowls and 56 bags of cement still unclaimed in a warehouse.
The Provincial Health Office thanked the auditors for discovering deficiencies, and said it will guide the provincial government in addressing the problem. The health office added it was working on the problem to ensure a smooth implementation of the second phase of the project. – Rappler.com