COA reports

COA questions Catbalogan City execs on P2.45-M seminar in Parañaque

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COA questions Catbalogan City execs on P2.45-M seminar in Parañaque 

The Commission on Audit (COA) in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City on October 2, 2018 Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler


The Commission on Audit asks city officials to justify why the seminar had to be held in Metro Manila when there are other venues in the Visayas

MANILA, Philippines – State auditors are questioning the decision of Catabalogan City officials to hold a seminar in Metro Manila in 2022.

According to the 2022 audit report on the Catbalogan City government, 56 local officials and employees had a four-day seminar in Parañaque City, at a cost of P2.455 million.

They attended the Workshop on Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) and the Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA), and stayed at a lodging place in Parañaque City.

The mayor, vice mayor, 10 Sangguniang Panlungsod members, 18 department heads, and 26 others including aides, executive assistants and security officers joined the trip from September 12 to 16, 2022.

Travel expenses totaled P831,406.57 while the training fees amounted to P1.624 million, or P29,000 per person.

The audit report said funds for the activity came from the unused portion of the citys’ local disaster risk reduction and management fund (LDRRMF).

The Commission on Audit said that the activity was not in tune with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2011-59, which strongly discouraged local chief executives and presiding officers in public offices from conducting trainings, seminars and similar activities outside of the geographical island where their local government unit is located.

Following the DILG MC, Catbalogan City officials should have held the seminar in the Visayas.

COA recommended the submission of documents to justify why the seminar was held in Metro Manila, as there were other venues in the Visayas.

“The City should have been prudent in the use of their scarce financial resources.  We recommended that management submit documents to support the necessity of the study tour,” the COA said.

The local government runs the risk of being liable for disallowance, or being required to refund the total amount of the activity, if it fails to comply.

“This is without prejudice to an audit disallowance if management failed to justify the said study tour and/or there is an indication of excessive charging of the travel/training expenses,” COA said.

The city government clarified that the activity was not in the nature of “Lakbay-Aral” but was in line with mainstreaming its Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment report and crafting its Comprehensive Development Plan.

It also said that the activity inspired measures replicating Taguig City government’s best practices in caring for senior citizens and the Emergency Operations Command Center.

The audit team recommended that the city officials include this explanation in their written justification, but reminded them that all activities should be related to disaster management and response since the trip’s funding was drawn from Catbalogan’s LDRRMF. –

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  1. RL

    Imagine how much of taxpayer’s money was saved had they just brought the resource speakers to their province.

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