A P50-million garbage disposal program of the Cebu province lacked guidelines and monitoring schemes, resulting in the usage of the fund for other purpose, if not for nonuse at all.
The Commission on Audit bared that the program of former governor and now Representative-elect Gwendolyn Garcia amounting to nearly P50.7 million was not efficiently rolled out. The Disposal of Garbage and Waste Enforcement for Nature (D’Gwen) project aimed to construct a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for the segregated garbage and purchase recyclable materials from their households using the capital assistance received from the province, among others.
In July 2009, Cebu entered into a memorandum of agreement with four cities and 46 municipalities entitled in line with the D’Gwen. The amount of P26.77 million was released in November 2009. In 2010, P23.12 million was released anew and P800,000 in the first half of 2011.
Verifications sent to resident auditors within the municipalities and cities showed that of the 26 that sent back confirmations, only two reported some transactions.
The municipality of Dalaguete reported that they have an established MRF but it is not operational owing to lack of support from the provincial capitol for the recyclable materials.
The city of Toledo, meanwhile, submitted a copy of their subsidiary ledger on D’Gwen, which shows some monthly payroll transactions starting October 2010 were paid to street sweepers for the implementation the D’Gwen.
Some 25 villages who disbursed funds used the cash for different purposes, among others, given to a deceased member of the council, repair of multicab, funding for the barangay day celebration and other activities, and purchase of materials for pakyaw, weighing scale and two pedicabs.
Letters were also sent to the provincial treasurer and program coordinator regarding monitoring reports which by the D’Gwen Program Coordinating Office prepared to show the compliance of component cities and municipalities to the program.
Since the commission did not receive any response, interviews were made. It was revealed to auditors that “no constant monitoring was made of the project due to the voluminous regular work of the single person assigned to the project.”
The province also had not purchased any recyclable materials from the municipalities since no recyclable materials were sold to them.
“The above conditions were traceable to the absence of specific and well-defined guidelines regarding the program. As a result, funds were left unutilized in the coffers of majority of the recipient local government units,” COA said.
Action taken by the provincial planning and development coordinator included submission of a memorandum dated March 2, 2012, to all local government units concerned and an addendum to the memorandum of agreement relative to the D’Gwen.
In a rejoinder, the audit team said that the interviews they conducted “revealed that [village officials]were not aware of the program.”
“This is an indication that there was no adequate information dissemination of the mechanics of the program, particularly in the barangay level. Moreover, no monitoring reports were presented by the planning officer during our verification,” the commission stated.
COA asked Cebu officials to conduct adequate information dissemination through a forum with municipal and village officials to thresh out details regarding the program.
The commission also wanted the program coordinator’s office to require the refund from those village chief, treasurers and councilors who used the fund for personal purpose.