COA, groups audit CCT, bunkhouses
TACLOBAN CITY—Six teams from the Commission on Audit (COA), together with civil society groups, have conducted an audit of the implementation of the government’s cash-for-work program and the construction of bunk houses in Eastern Visayas, the region hardest hit by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” last year.
The audit, a member of the COA team said, is part of the agency’s program dubbed as citizen participatory audit (CPA) that allows civil society groups to take part in the audit process.
Aida Maria Ayaso-Talavera, COA director for Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), said the CPA would help “improve transparency, accountability” in government projects.
Talavera said the program was tested last year in Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela) involving the area’s flood control project.
COA commissioner Heidi Mendoza, CPA program supervisor, decided to audit the cash-for-work program and bunk houses in Eastern Visayas using the CPA program because these are the most tangible among all relief distribution programs of the government for Yolanda survivors. The audit ended on Sept. 4.
Being audited are the cash-for-work program and construction of bunk houses in the towns of Macarthur, Javier, Tolosa, Mahaplag, Carigara, Mayorga, Dagami, La Paz, Palo, Tanauan and Abuyog and the cities of Ormoc and Tacloban, all in Leyte, and Basey and Marabut towns in Samar.
These areas are among those worst hit by Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013. Among the civil society groups involved in the audit are the Philippine Relief and Development, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Civil Engineers Society Chapter of the Eastern Visayas State University and the Leyte Family Development Organization.
Talavera said the audit’s purpose was to determine if the cash-for-work program and the construction of the bunk houses were properly implemented and actually benefited the storm survivors.
The team talked personally to the beneficiaries of the two programs, Talavera said.
She said it was premature to disclose the team’s initial findings.
“The general rule is that when something happens that is not within standards or requirements, the next thing is to determine what is the effect of noncompliance,” said Talavera.
“If there is a pecuniary loss on the part of the government, there will be a disallowance,” she added.
Bunk houses were built as temporary shelters for families displaced by Yolanda.
But some groups claimed the bunk houses were built hastily and were not up to international standards.
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