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City exercises more caution in projects to avoid COA rebuke

The Local government is trying to learn from the last assessment by the Commission on Audit (COA), which flagged several procedures and the submission of the requirements and documents.

“So, we are learning from it and we will be keen in checking our requirements,” Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo told reporters after the COA questioned why the local government didn’t build enough school buildings despite the available funds.

According to Domingo, they failed to meet their targets for constructed school buildings after encountering some legal difficulties.

“Most of the issue is the land ownership, so unless we can present sufficient proof that we own the land to construct something, the city cannot proceed into constructing it,” he said.

According to COA, 34 of the 54 classrooms funded under the Special Education Fund were not constructed and only P74.48 million of the P292.15 million allocated fund was spent.

Domingo answered that most of the projects are requests of various government agencies.

“Some of these projects were recommended by different agencies. The city was generous enough to accommodate and put this in our budget of these structures, or buildings, or classrooms, or whatsoever,” Domingo said.

“However, when the time came for us to acquire the requirements from the requesting parties, they weren’t able to follow. With that, we have now changed our mechanism in trying to support certain requests of this sort,” he added.

After learning in the incident, Domingo said they will be keen more on checking ownership documents.
“Our appeal is that if there are really similar requests in the future, we recommend that all the requirements should be submitted to the City Planning Development Office and the City Engineer’s Office,” he said.

Domingo also answered that while the local government unit has been questioned, he noted that there are also projects that were implemented. “We also have accomplishments, however, the COA report will always highlight the unbuilt ones. That’s how the thing goes when it comes to auditing,” he said.

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