OCD: 15 out of 22 local gov’t isolation facilities completed
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has clarified that it had complied with the recommendations of the Commission on Audit (COA) after state auditors flagged the agency over its unfinished COVID-19 facilities last year as well as the use of quick response funds (QRFs).
In a statement on Wednesday, the OCD said the COA resident auditor gave the agency “unmodified opinion” on the presentation of its financial statements, which means it strictly adheres to all relevant and applicable accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
It said the information on the COA report was as of December last year only, and was “no longer up to date.”
The OCD is an agency under the Department of National Defense and serves as the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
As of June 21, the OCD said it had 15 facility construction projects already completed.
These are the projects in Jala-Jala, Rizal; Corcuera, Romblon; Sofronio Española, Cagayancillo and Cuyo in Palawan; Concepcion, Iloilo; Malaybalay City and Valencia City in Bukidnon; Kidapawan City and Midsayap in Cotabato; Isulan and Bagumbayan in Sultan Kudarat; and Surallah and Koronadal in South Cotabato; and the Provincial Government of Sultan Kudarat.The status of construction of other facilities were Torrijos, Marinduque, at 99 percent; Santa Cruz, Marinduque, 97 percent; Malungon, Sarangani, 96 percent; Taytay, Palawan, and Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, both at 90 percent; Magsaysay, Palawan, 85 percent; and Libacao, Aklan, 47 percent.
79% of funds used
Of the total funds provided by the OCD for local government facility construction and conversion projects and support to local government isolation facilities, 79 percent or P769.5 million have been utilized.
The remaining P164.3 million were unutilized and reverted to the National Treasury.
According to the COA report, only four of the 22 local governments completed the construction of the isolation facilities.
“The noncompletion of these isolation facilities within the target completion date deprived the intended beneficiaries of the needed facilities to curtail the spread of the virus during the pandemic,” it said.
According to the OCD, the project implementation in local governments were affected by the COVID-19 situation in their localities.
“Such situations include occurrence of surges in COVID-19 cases and varying community quarantine classification which affected procurement processes and project timelines, issues on the location of the facility which led to the selection of another project site, compliance to mandated revision of plans in compliance to Department of Health directive, and some projects starting during the height of the rainy season which affected construction schedules,” it explained.
The COA also flagged the OCD’s low utilization rate of funds for its humanitarian and disaster relief operations transferred to its regional offices.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.