Before Maute siege, COA saw an improved Marawi in 2016
At least before it was besieged by the Maute armed group, the Commission on Audit had seen a lot of improvement in the Marawi City government in 2016.
In its recently-released annual audit report for 2016, COA reported that in the year before the conflict, the city government grew its collection of taxes and fees by 220 percent to P6.734 million, from the 2015 figure of P2.1 million.
Much of the increase arose from the imposition of fees for registration, plates, tags and stickers, which earned the city P3.42 million, compared to zero in the previous year.
Besides the revenue increase, auditors also credited the “new administration” of Mayor Majul Gandamra for regularly remitting to the Bureau of Internal Revenue taxes withheld from the compensation of the city’s suppliers and contractors.
For the months of July to December 2016, all P3.49-million taxes were remitted to the BIR on time.
Likewise, COA commended the “new administration” for consistently remitting the premium contributions of its employees to the Government Service Insurance System, Home Development Mutual Fund, and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. There were zero unremitted collections for July to December 2016.
Prior to Gandamra’s takeover, COA noted that a total of P92.5 million for the months of January to June 2016 were not yet remitted by the city by the end of 2016.
The delinquent accounts could be broken down as follows: P47.49 million in taxes for BIR, P38.26 million in GSIS contributions, P3.7 million in Pag-IBIG contributions, and P3.05 million in PhilHealth dues.
Although an audit observation memorandum was issued against the previous city administration, COA urged Gandamra to direct the city accountant to update the accounting records and come up with a detailed list. This was in order to settle the unremitted obligations of the previous administration.
“The delayed remittance of the monthly premium contributions …may result [in] unnecessary penalties, surcharges, and interests. Furthermore, the members/employees were deprived of the benefits and privileges due them,” the report read.
On the flip side, auditors flagged the city government’s failure to secure P124.29 million in insurable assets under the coverage of the GSIS’s General Insurance Fund, as mandated by the Property Insurance Law.
As if to foreshadow the city’s tragedy this year, COA said the lack of insurance coverage deprive the government of “adequate protection/indemnification of properties against damage or loss in case of fires, storms, earthquakes or other unforeseen fortuitous event and forces of nature.”
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.