Auditors smell a rat in P17-M ‘pork’ for scholars

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THE Commission on Audit (COA) asked the city of Antipolo to continue to put pressure on a non-government organization to submit documents in detailing the P17.7-million fund which came from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of a city lawmaker for livelihood and scholarship project.

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In the audit report on Antipolo City, state auditors asked the accounting department of the city to push for documents in detailing the multi-million cash which the Kaunlaran at Kagalingan ng Antipolo Inc. (Kaka) used for livelihood enhancement and scholarship programs of the eight barangays (villages) in Antipolo City.

The P17.7 million came from the PDAF or “pork barrel” of incumbent Rep. Roberto Puno of the city’s first district.

The Commission detailed that three checks between June 17 and 18, 2011 were released to Kaka: P11.5 million for livelihood enhancement program, P1.2 million for the first series of stipend of scholars and another P5 million still for stipend of scholars for those in the villages of Mambugan, Dela Paz, Mayamot, San Isidro, Santa Cruz, Beverly Hills, Muntindilaw and Bagong Nayon.

“In the post audit of the liquidation reports, it was noted that the documents submitted to support the proper accounting and use of the funds were incomplete,” COA said.

Auditors said that for the livelihood program, Kaka did not submit application forms of all beneficiaries indicating the livelihood training they would like to undergo, program of activity from the village, list of participants and documents to support the expenditures incurred.

Meanwhile, for the two-part scholarship program there were no report cards of the students, voter’s identification card of both parents, barangay clearance, student school ID, filled-out scholarship application forms, result of the assessment from the Education Screening Committee and general payrolls signed and approved by Christopher Jordan, president and chairman of Kaka.

“The absence of pertinent documents . . . restricts our audit to fully substantiate the validity and propriety of the expenditures,” auditors said.

Liquidation reports were also submitted late contrary to a COA circular that says that an NGO should submit how the funds were used 60 days after the project.

The liquidation report for the livelihood program was only submitted in November 8, 2012, despite it being implemented between June and October 2011.

The report for the first series for the stipend of scholars was submitted in August 24, 2011.

The implementation was between February and June 2011. The report for the second series was forwarded only on February 14, 2012, despite its implementation between February and August 2011.

Auditors asked city officials to “demand” from Kaka the immediate submission of the required documents for the proper liquidation of funds.

“For similar future undertaking, see to it that liquidation of the funds granted to NGOs is promptly made upon completion,” the Commission said told of Antipolo City officials.

The city accountant replied that they already called the attention of the officials of Kaka Foundation and has sought the assistance from the office of Puno.

In a rejoinder, the Commission lauded the efforts of the city officials however stood pat that “a final demand from Kaka be made by the City, for the immediate submission of the required documents.”

John Constantine G. Cordon

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