COA: 85% of DA fund transfers to implementing agencies, NGOs not liquidated
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the Department of Agriculture (DA) for failing to liquidate 85.45 percent of funds it transferred to several implementing agencies (IA) and non-government organizations (NGOs).
COA said that out of the P5.715 billion disbursed by the DA to IAs and NGOs in 2018, some P4.883 billion have not been liquidated, in violation of COA Circular Nos. 94-013 and 2007-001.
This is aside from the P16.56 billion unliquidated funds from previous years, which brings the total unliquidated funds to P21.45 billion or 72 percent of the total P29.49 billion disbursed funds.
“Of the said amount, P4,883,115,478.07 or 85.45 percent of the funds transferred were not liquidated. Also, P16,568,896,584.06 or 69.68 percent of prior year’s balance of ₱23,778,426,602.69 were still unliquidated,” COA said.
The report dated July 4, 2019 stated that most of the funds released in 2018 went to national government agencies (P2.152 billion), followed by local government units (P1.694 billion) government-owned and controlled corporations (P1.327 billion), NGOs (P478.2 million); and regional offices (P62.16 million).
NGAs also have the most unliquidated balances, with P1.779 billion; LGUs (P1.330 billion); GOCCs (P1.327 billion); NGOs (P384.5 billion), and ROs (P60.96 million).
COA stressed that DA, as the Source Agency (SA), should have required all parties which received the funds to “submit the required reports” and “furnish the IA with a copy of the journal voucher taking up the expenditures,” as mandated by its guidelines in disbursing funds and grants to IAs and NGOs.
“Within 60 days after the completion of the project, the NGO shall submit the final Fund Utilization Report together with the supporting documents to the SA,” the commission added.
State auditors also observed that the non-liquidation of balances involves certain factors, such as the “non-monitoring of the progress of the implementation of the projects” of DA offices like the Central Office (CO), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), and Regional Field Offices (RFO)s of Regions V, VI, IX, and XII.
COA said that ATI and RFOs of Regions II and XII, meanwhile, did not enforce certain provisions of memorandums of agreement (MOAs) which could have facilitated the liquidation.
DA’s management was advised to create an effective procedure in monitoring and enforcing the submission of liquidation reports, progress reports, and terminal reports of the projects.
To do this, COA said DA officials must “conduct ocular inspections or visits to the available addresses or location of the grantees to validate the implementation of their projects and validate the existence and legality of concerned NGOs.”
COA also asked the DA to send additional demand letters to all the IAs and NGOs involved. /ee
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