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COA: Davao City school funds underutilized

The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the Davao City local government for its failure to properly utilize P217.6 million in special education funds (SEF) to construct classrooms.

The audit body said that of the total P292.1 million SEF, only P74.4 million or 25 percent had been used, resulting in a shortage of 1,412 classrooms in all levels as of June 2018.

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“The delay or underimplementation of projects may have affected the efficiency and effectiveness of the LGU (local government unit) and deprived students of sufficiently instructional space that could have been derived from additional school building projects,” the COA report said, adding that the classroom shortage “might worsen” if enrollment projection continues to increase.

The COA annual audit report on Davao City cited the local government code provision, which states that the school board should prioritize the construction, repair and maintenance of school buildings and other facilities of public elementary and secondary schools.

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“Despite the availability of funds for school building projects, 34 out of 54 projects remained unimplemented, according to the Programming and Design Division (PDD) of the City Engineer’s Office and Local School Board,” the report said.

The City Engineer’s Office however attributed the delay in the construction of new classrooms to the lack of manpower, saying there are only four PDD employees assigned to oversee the project.

The schools’ lack of ownership documents also contributed to the delay, the City Engineer’s Office said.

The audit body has tasked Davao City’s LGU to reassess its processes and procedures that might have affected the project’s implementation. It also recommended more personnel to oversee the project.

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TAGS: COA, Davao City, Special Education Funds (SEF), underutilized funds
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