• COA: 55 Cebu projects worth P192-M ‘without consent’ —- CORDON

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    THE Commission on Audit (COA) has noticed that 55 projects of Cebu province worth P192 million did not have any sanction from the sangguniang panlalawigan (provincial council).

    In the 2011 audit report on the Cradle of Christianity in Asia, state auditors noticed that there were 55 projects which lacked resolution from the provincial council, despite a 2008 Supreme Court ruling which requires a provincial chief to have the council issue a resolution first before a contract gets green light.

    The audit team stated the province tapped different private companies for 55 contracts worth P192.82 million, all were charged to “lumpsum appropriation.”

    COA said that these projects violated an SC en banc decision which stated that unless provided in the Local Government Code, “no contract may be entered into by the local chief executive on behalf of the local government unit without prior authorization by the sanggunian concerned.”

    The SC jurisprudence also said that projects worded broadly “need for a covering contract for every specific project that in turn requires approval by the sanggunian.”

    Upon review Cebu’s 2010 and 2011 annual and supplemental budgets, the auditors said that the province couched the projects “in generic terms.”

    The heftiest, worth P42.48 million, read as: “To payt. of 49.64 percent work accomplishment, billing#2 for the supply of materials (inplaced) and other incidentals for the repair/improvement of provincial roads, Cebu province (District 2-West).”

    Nature of the programs, which were taken against the 20-percent development fund, involved electrification projects, road construction and repair, water supply, housing programs, hospital construction, and heritage sites restoration, all of which were with “partial or full payment” in 2011.

     

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