Davao City's calamity fund priorities questioned by auditors
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned Davao City's priorities in spending its calamity fund in 2014, the latest audit report on the city showed.
State auditors said the city government spent P45 million on motor vehicles issued to the Davao City Mayor’s Office, Davao City police, emergency response center, and the traffic management center.
Auditors noted that the purchases were not included in the city’s Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (LDRRM) Fund Investment Plan, leading to questions about their necessity in line with their proposed budget for 2014.
COA recommended that the LDRRM Council re-evaluate its budget plans to avoid inappropriate charges to the calamity fund.
Another P5 million was spent on maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), including uniforms, meals, and office equipment and charged to the calamity funds.
According to COA, these should not be charged against the LDRRM Fund because they are not disaster-related activities.
In contrast, COA also noted a very low investment on training for disaster preparedness. The city only spent P145,000 on training “which may indicate non-responsiveness” to the objectives the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan.
The training sessions are conducted to “increase the level of awareness of the community to threats and impacts of all hazards” and “equip the community with the necessary skills to cope with the negative impacts of a disaster.”
The acting DRRM officer of Davao City said in a letter that the General Fund appropriations could not cover all the expenses of their services.
COA recommended that the city DRRM office request for additional budget instead of using LDRRM Fund for administrative expenses.
Read COA's other findings in its Davao City report for 2014:
State auditors also questioned Davao City in 2013 for its "very low efficiency rate of performance versus targets." The local government spent only 11% of its P175-million flood control funds. – Vincent Bascos/Rappler.com
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