• Davao spends P677M for 11,000 volunteers

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    STATE auditors uncovered that the city of Davao spent P677 million to pay 11,000 volunteers without the necessary accomplishment reports to validate that assigned duties were done.

    In the 2012 report on Davao City, the Commission on Audit (COA) disclosed that the city hall shelled out P677.70 million to pay 11,000 personnel—covered by job orders and deployed in the different offices and villages within the city for both first and second semesters of 2012.

    A job order or contract of service is a computer-generated form, which bears the control number of every personnel. It is prepared by the program officer of the Human Resources Management Office for the hired daily wage earners.

    The contracts show the worker’s name, designation, rate a day, period covered, funding source, and office assignment, duly acknowledged by the personnel themselves.

    Confirmation of the contracts showed that of 275 contractuals employed at the Office of the Chief of Staff, City Mayor’s Office “only 59 personnel were noted to be present.”

    “The rest were on field with pass slips. However, no copy of pass slips were shown to the audit team,” the report noted.

    The Commission also unearthed that not one of the 82 personnel hired as barangay auxiliary workers and volunteers was present during the validation allegedly because of their deployment to different barangays.

    Still, “no copies of deployment orders were presented” to the audit team, COA said.

    “None of the personnel hired as job order or contractual was required to submit a report of accomplishment,” the report read.

    When government accountants checked the disbursement vouchers, they noticed that P677,708,222.44 “was spent for payment of job orders, and contractual personnel.”

    This amount does not include compensation payments recorded under the expense account Other Maintenance and Operating Expenses, COA said.

    Without accomplishment report submitted from the worker’s end, the Commission could not ascertain if the payments were valid because the report “could have been the basis of compensation payment for the period.”

    “It was noted that the monthly payrolls were not supported with corresponding accomplishment reports [and that]personnel were not required to prepare the same ever since,” auditors said.

    Auditors also said that the city officials did not submit any certification that the work of the job orders could not be carried out by regular or permanent personnel.

    “Deployment and monitoring of job orders and contractual have not been given sufficient control and that supervision is lax,” COA commented.

    It added that the “principle of equal work for equal pay is not operational” since accountability of the hired personnel in terms of producing outputs in return of their wages was not considered.

    In their defense, the Human Resources division of the city hall said that they based the hiring on a Civil Service Commission.

    They added that, the hired personnel were monitored by the department chiefs of the offices where they were assigned and that their own office conducted monitoring to check if the job orders were in their assigned areas, doing their assigned tasks.

    COA stood pat in its decision, saying that had the city officials did monitor faithfully as they claimed, “the problem of absenteeism or non-appearance [of the hired workers], unknown whereabouts and non-accounting of accomplishments could have been avoided.”

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