By Ric Obedencio | 04:30 AM October 18, 2022
The provincial government of Bohol under then governor and now Rep. Edgar Chatto received no foreign private funds to help Bohol in its rehabilitation as a result of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Bohol on October 15, 2013, exactly nine years ago on October 15, 2022.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Anthony Damalerio issued the statement as a reply to a query during the weekly Capitol Reports held on Friday.
This came after several municipalities, who received the financial aid from national government after the quake in 2013, are reportedly failed to liquidate the said funds based on Commission on Audit (COA) report.
He challenged those who alleged that Capitol received millions of dollars from foreign private donors as aid to the post-quale rehabilitation efforts of the government.
His statement supported provincial treasurer Eustaquio Socorin’s remarks in an interview that the province received no such funds.
Damalerio said that local and foreign private funds contributed to quake rehabilitation drive were instead received by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), which was part of the of the tripartite council created for the purpose at the time.
Funds to the tune of P152,665,151.18 for rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the towns remain unliquidated, according to Commission on Audit report ending December 31, 2019 but reported the following year.
“Fund transfers to the local government units pertaining to Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) fund with a total of P152,665,151.18 or 79% of the total fund transferred to PGBh remained unliquidated ranging from more than a year to more than three years preventing adequate accounting and monitoring of fund utilization,” COA said.
It cited COA Circular No. 94-013 that “fund transfers should be properly taken up in the books of both agencies, used only for the purpose intended and properly accounted and reported” and DILG Memo Circular No. 68 dated June 3, 2014 that “The provincial government of Bohol shall officially notify the LGUs on the need to submit monthly the required liquidation reports.”
COA cited a case in point that Catigbian with a total of P39,119,406.88 had P39,103,165.00 and P1,923,200.00 still unliquidated for over a year and over 2 years, respectively.
It said that 27 towns mostly affected by the earthquake have received the fund in the total amount of P193,976,699.13; unliquidated less than a year — P41,311,547.95; unliquidated over a year — P56,699,026.11; unliquidated over 2 years — P58,656,332.88; and unliquidated over 3 years — P37,309,792.19.
COA said that the unliquidated fund transfers for a long time “may be attributable to absence of policies and procedures within the Provincial accounting office (Pacco) for handling and recording of liquidation reports submitted by the implementing LGUs and absence of policies and procedures ion requiring liquidation from implementing LGUs thru formal notification or demand letter.”
COA then has recommended to Capitol to cause the reconciliation of balance recorded by Pacco with the actual balances and reconciliation of balance in the Pacco ledgers with balance recorded in implementing LGUs legers.
COA also recommended to Capitol to set up policies and procedures in handling and liquidation of fund transfers and sending formal demand for liquidation to the LGUs transfer.
The provincial government thru PAccO disputed that the fund transfer to trust fund “were actually reduced by some 177 million as compared to prior year balance and in the first quarter of the ensuing year P85 million was already recorded part of which represents FURs submitted in 2019.
“On the other hand, PAcco admitted that it failed to send formal notices demand to concerned LGUs but asserted that its regular issuance of fund control ledger or advances summary to LGUs is already an equivalent and is substantial compliance to the requirement.”
The towns that did not liquidate for less than a year are the following: Danao, P2,490,857.26; Loay, P13,874,000.00; Loon, P22,090,181.50; Maribojoc, P1,654,000.00; Sagbayan, P2,509.19; and San Isidro, P1,200,000.00.
Those who failed to liquidate for over a year: Buenavista, P8,791,572.36; Calape, P5,200,000.00; Catigbian (with a total P39,119,406.88 received) P39,103,165.00; Candijay, P1.00; Clarin, P7,860.79; Inabanga, P2,692,000.00; Maribojoc, P1,000,000.00; Pilar, P757,243.06; San Isidro, P1,000,000.00; and Sevilla, P147,183.90.
For over 2 years: Buenavista, P4,736,471.63; Calape, P6,958,076.66; Catigbian, P1,923,200.00; Inabanga, P20,086,051.68; Loboc, P549,932.55; Maibojoc, P777,104.40; San Isidro, P14,552,256.38; and Tagbilaran City, P8,489,239.58, the same amount it received.
For over 3 years: Baclayon, P127,314.67; Balilihan, P5,477,302.89; Batuan, P1,627,358.39; Carmen, P1,075,901.54; Catigbian, P93,041.88; Dimiao, P2,106,904.23; Duero, P878.35; Jagna, P20,471,608.35 (the same amount it received); Lila, P99,990.59; Loay, P794,776.38; Loboc, P4,990,210.26; Mabini, P29,783.60; and Panglao, P314,721.06.
It was not immediately known whether these towns have indeed made an account of the funds they received two years after the COA’s post-audit report. (rvo)