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COA criticizes city on P1.9M disaster fund

The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the city government over alleged inappropriate transaction amounting to over P1.9M using the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF).

In COA’s recent annual audit report, the said use of LDRRMF is “not supportive to disaster risk management activities were charged to LDRRMF instead of Regular Fund or funds of concerned offices.”

It added, “such improper charging is not in accordance with existing law, rules and regulations.”

In the report, disaster fund were used to pay for janitorial supplies and materials, meals and snacks for training, gardening tools, computer supplies, among others.

COA cited the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 provision that states LDRRMF should be set aside “to support disaster risk management activities such as, but not limited to, pre-disaster preparedness programs including training, purchasing life-saving rescue equipment, supplies and medicines, for post-disaster activities, and for the payment of premiums on calamity insurance.”

It also explained that in the NDRRMC-DILG-DBM-CSC Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2014-01 dated April 4, 2014, “the budgetary requirements for the personal services, maintenance and other operating expenditures and capital outlay of the LDRRMO shall be sourced from the General Fund of the LGU.”

COA commented that such expenses are administrative in nature and not related to the key objectives of disaster risk reduction and management.

“These should have been appropriately charged against the regular budget or funds other than the DRRMF,” it said.

COA ordered the City Budget Officer, City Accountant and, Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DCDRRMO) Chief Operating Officer to observe due care in the use of LDRRMF to ensure that it is utilized solely for approved Disaster Risk Reduction and Management-related programs/activities/projects.

In its reply, DCDRRMO said it “will be diligent and conscientious in the utilization of the LDRMM funds.”

It added that the office will meticulously examine all documents to ensure that it is appropriately utilized as it is solely intended.

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