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COA spots red flags in Davao City transactions

But Mayor Duterte says errors have been corrected, documents submitted
/ 06:15 AM May 24, 2018

SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT Mayor Sara Duterte says the Commission on Audit’s report on Davao City’s procurements and inventories helps the local government improve its recording system. —EDWIN BACASMAS

The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned some P569.86-million worth of inventories and transactions recorded in the book of accounts of Davao City last year reportedly because of improper record keeping and lack of supporting documents.

In its 2017 annual audit report on President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, the COA flagged some P486.34-million worth of inventory accounts as “unreliable,” as these were bloated by the inclusion of nonexisting items; P69.46-million worth of infrastructure projects, which lacked information on their procurement processes; and the payment of P13.58-million worth of school equipment and P476,102.05 for drugs and medicines without appropriate documentary requirements.

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Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, however, said the transactions or procurements had been pointed out by the COA’s resident auditor and had been rectified and resolved before the required exit conference for 2017.

No fund misuse

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Carpio, the President’s daughter, also noted that the COA report did not cite any misuse or loss of public funds.

“[The transactions or procurements] were the subject of the COA resident auditor’s audit observation memorandum (AOM) issued prior to the conduct of the required annual exit conference for the year 2017,” Duterte said in a statement.

“The required documentation, information and/or comments or explanations were submitted on time to the COA and all these matters were duly rectified and resolved,” she said.

The COA, in its audit report released on May 21, noted that the city government failed to “faithfully” comply with regulations mandating periodic inventory of supplies and properties.

Construction materials, food

It said the inclusion of P117.86 million in construction materials and P12.79 million in food items put in doubt the validity of the inventory accounts in the city government’s books.

While the books indicated that the city still had P124.12-million worth of construction materials purchased from 2014 to 2017 in its inventory, the City Engineer’s Office said only P6.26-million worth of materials, representing 5 percent, actually remained.

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The auditors also doubted the presence of so much food in the inventory, especially as P11.85 million of the amount, or 93 percent, were procured from 2010 to 2016.

‘Generic minutes’

In the same report, the COA also questioned the “generic minutes” used in the pre-procurement conferences on the four infrastructure projects in the city, which runs counter to the government’s thrust to promote transparency.

The COA said the projects included the P49.99-million Davao City Investment and Promotions Center Office building, the P6.83-million multipurpose building in Barangay Tugbok, the P6.64-million road concreting project in Barangay Cabantian, and the P5.99-million City Treasurer’s Office warehouse at Maa slaughterhouse.

Duterte said the city government had corrected the errors.

“Missteps, especially on erroneous or missing documents, are immediately corrected to avoid doubt on the transactions,” the mayor said. “We are happy with the COA report because it helps us improve our system in [recording] transactions.” With a report from Allan Nawal

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TAGS: COA, Commission On Audit, Davao City transactions
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