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COA questions Tarlac’s spending of P70-million special educational fund

COA questions Tarlac’s spending of P70-million special educational fund
The Commission on Audit notes delays in the implementation of education projects in Tarlac

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) raised concerns over the Tarlac provincial government’s spending of its special educational fund worth P70.25 million in 2019.

In a report, state auditors listed issues such as slow procurement processes and delays in implementation for projects intended for public schools in the province.

COA questioned why Tarlac already procured construction materials worth P6.72 million for 7 schools without allocating budget for labor. State auditors also noted that construction of sheds for 4 schools, amounting to P7.8 million, remain incomplete.

“The school heads averred that the construction materials were delivered at the time when the concerned schools had no funds to finance the labor component of the project, hence the materials laid idle in the school premises,” COA said.

Supplies left untouched

Aside from construction materials, the commission also raised concerns over undistributed materials, including health kits, textbooks, and armchairs.

Health kits worth P5.1 million had yet to be distributed to children, as of January 2020. These kits were purchased in March 2019 and delivered in August that year.

At least 20,900 high school textbooks worth P9.25 million, delivered in November 2019, had also yet to be received by students.

At least 10,000 armchairs worth P12.45 million, to cover elementary and high schools in the province, were also among those stocked.

COA said the prolonged storage may lead to wasting of public funds.

“The delayed delivery of the above heath kits, armchairs, and books…defeats the timely delivery of services because it is already the last quarter of the school year,” state auditors said. – Rappler.com

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