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COA red flags P28M Angat Buhay projects of Robredo: No liquidation, no progress reports, no clear-cut process on choosing recipients

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The Commission on Audit has flagged P28.189 million worth of Angat Buhay projects in 2018 under the office of Vice President Leni Robredo for reporting deficiencies and questions on fairness of distribution. COA said the anti-poverty program of Robredo did not have official receipts (OR), liquidation reports, progress reports, and lacked a clear-cut selection process on which towns or cities should benefit from the VP’s programs.

In its 2019 annual report released recently, COA said Robredo had a
total allocation of P44.664 million for 29 municipalities in Angat
Buhay projects in 2018 or 56 percent of Robredo’s annual budget of P80
million.

COA reported 19 of the 29 local government units (LGUs) did not issue the mandatory ORs because the VP’s accepted mere certifications from LGU officials “which cast doubts on the authenticity of fund transfers.”

“The OVP did not diligently follow up the submission of ORs, which is imprudent for a Source Agency (SA), whose fund is being disbursed. It could mean that the agency is not keen or interested in ensuring the legitimacy of its projects. Valid questions would be: Were the funds recorded in the books of the agency? If it was recorded, did the LGU record the correct amount under the correct account?” COA said.

COA said the OVP failed to submit liquidation and quarterly reports on 12 Angat Buhay projects that it completed in 208 and early 2019.

“The OVP did not diligently follow up the submission of ORs, which is imprudent for a Source Agency (SA), whose fund is being disbursed. It could mean that the agency is not keen or interested in ensuring the legitimacy of its projects. Valid questions would be: Were the funds recorded in the books of the agency? If it was recorded, did the LGU record the correct amount under the correct account?” COA said.

OVP replied that it accepted certificates instead of ORS because LGUS were still “adjusting” to the fund transfer process.It promised to send letters to LGUs for the ORs and it formed a four-member project management unit to for the progress reports and field visits.

Aside from lack of documentation, COA criticized the OVP for its lack of a “clear-cut procedure on the selection of recipient LGUs, tainting the impartiality and fairness of the screening process, which defeats the purpose of providing LGUs with financial assistance based on Need or Opportunity.”

The funds were given on a “per request basis” of LGUS coursed through the VP’s Area and Constituency Concerns Division (ACCD) and the Local Affairs and Special Projects Division (LASPD).

But COA found this process “vague” – does it need to be the LGU itself (initiate the request for funding) or could anybody request for a favored LGU?
“There are gray areas that taint the impartiality and fairness of the screening process i.e. Were there surveys made? Were the proposed areas chosen from a systematically-gathered information? If they were based on PSA’s classification (4th, 5th, or 6th class), how did the ACCD and LASPD ranked the cities and municipalities?” it said.

COA urged the OVP to “clarify the selection process and ranking system for the selected LGUs; hence, avoid questions on partiality and bias.” The OVP said it would “improve it system” and “refine the qualification criteria… to ensure that the communities most in need are more effectively targeted and well-served.”

Four of the 19 projects funded were in Bicol, five were in Cebu.

Here are the 19 projects that received funding from the VP’s Angat Buhay project:

1) Veruela, Agusan Del Sur – tuition fee (P1.5 million)
2)Tinambac, Camarines Sur – motor fiberglass banca (P1.225 million) 3)
Sam Remigio, Cebu -Psychiatric Acute Care Facility (P2 million) 4)
Bato, Catanduanes -2-Classroom Building (P2 million)
5) Capalonga, Camarines Norte -Multi-purpose bldg.(P2 million)
6) San Joaquin, Iloilo – toilet bowls (P.346 million)
7) Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental – Cattle Fattening (P.61 million) 8)
San Francisco, Cebu – bagsakan center (P1.85 million)
9) Sumilao, Bukidnon- garden tools, carabao (P1.903 million)
10) Carcar City, Cebu – bagsakan center (P2 million)
11) Naga City, Cebu – Panginabuhian Center (P.306 million)
12) Tampakan, South Cotabato -bamboo center (P1.8 million)
13) Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte -food processing (P.3 million)
14) South Upi, Maguindanao -weaving Center (P.35 million)
15) Pola, Oriental Mindoro – small scale irrigation (P2 million)
16) Pilar, Sorsogon – center for violence victims (P2 million)
17) Tuburan, Cebu – water irrigation (P2 million)
18) Taft, Eastern Samar -eco-brick (P2 million)
19) Piagapo, Lanao del Sur – abaca fiber center (P2 million)

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