Leni defends Angat Buhay
After the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged several projects under the Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) Angat Buhay program for deficiencies, the OVP on Thursday said it would continue to improve the process involved in the selection and implementation of its flagship program.
But while it welcomed the audit body’s remarks, Vice President Leni Robredo’s office clarified that the local government units selected under the program were chosen through a set of criteria that considered their needs and their record on good governance.
“COA has been provided with an explanation [on] how each of these areas has passed the criteria, in response to [the agency’s] comment,” the office said in a statement sent to reporters.
“Additionally, as observed by COA, we continue our efforts in gaining a deeper understanding of the circumstances in the localities—which include some of the farthest and poorest areas in the country—as well as in validating the necessity and implementation of the [local governments’] proposed projects,” the statement said.
The COA flagged some P28.1 million spent in the Angat Buhay program, citing deficiencies such as the lack of official receipts, liquidation reports and progress reports.
Of the OVP’s P80 million budget, some P44.6 million, or 56 percent, was allocated to Angat Buhay projects in 2018, the audit body said.
In its report, the COA said the OVP lacked a clear procedure on the selection of its recipients, saying that such lack taints the impartiality and fairness of the screening process.
Robredo’s office welcomed the audit body’s reminder to ensure the submission of all requirements, noting that the receiving local governments still have until year-end to comply, as specified in their memorandum of agreement.
“The office has also formed a Project Management Unit early this year, whose responsibilities include compiling the documentary requirements from the local government units,” it added.
“The OVP is committed not only to abiding by the rules set by oversight agencies, but by its own internal controls,” Robredo’s office said.
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