The Commission on Audit (COA) has found that the Baguio City local government used for another purpose the funds meant for the P50-million project funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“As a result, the purpose of the Project MOA (memorandum of agreement) between the City Government of Baguio and the DPWH for the implementation of the DPWH Project ‘Construction of Multi-Purpose Building, Athletic Bowl Oval, Burnham Park, Baguio City’ in the amount of P50,000,000.00 was not achieved, and the funds released through SARO (special allotment release order) -BMB-A-22-0002808 was used for purposes other than that authorized therein,” the COA said in its 2022 audit report on Baguio City.
The audit body said DPWH and the Baguio City signed on Nov. 18, 2021 the MOA for the construction, repair, rehabilitation and improvement of various infrastructure amounting to P50 million.
The local government unit (LGU), which was selected by the DPWH to implement the project, received on June 17, 2022 the initial cash advance from the agency.
The COA said “subject project is not a Local Project of the City Government of Baguio to be funded by the DPWH, but rather, it is a National Government Project to be implemented by the City Government of Baguio” and, because of this, “the implementation of the project shall be governed by the Project MOA and the rules of the source agency.”
However, the COA learned that the LGU’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for Infrastructure on Jan. 11, 2022 adopted a resolution that stated that “the City Government of Baguio has clustered the DPWH project with the project ‘Baguio Youth Convergence Center and Indoor Sports Complex, Athletic Bowl, Burnham Park’.”
The audit body cited that “the Project MOA which is the primary document governing the implementation of the DPWH project, did not authorize nor mention any ‘clustering’ of the project with another City Government project.”
Despite this, the COA said the initial fund transfer of the DPWH was found to have been used to pay for the progress billing for the Baguio City Youth Convergence Center and Indoor Sports Complex.
“To conclude, there was no procurement nor implementation undertaken by the City Government for the construction of DPWH Project ‘Construction of Multi-Purpose Building, Athletic Bowl Oval, Burnham Park, Baguio City’ in the amount of P50,000,000.00 contrary to Section 2.1 of the Project Memorandum of Agreement, and the initial fund transfer released by the DPWH amounting to P25,000,000.00 was disbursed to the Contractor of a City Government Project as a Loan,” it stated.
The audit body said it has already recommended to the LGU to amend the MOA with the DPWH to indicate that the department “explicitly approves of the ‘Clustering’…”
Otherwise, the COA said the LGU should “fulfill the terms of the original Project MOA with the DPWH…”
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