Rizal must thresh out P22-M transfer details

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FINANCIAL assistance to municipalities and barangays (villages) of Rizal province worth P22.31 million were not covered with memorandum of agreement, making these cash transfers hard to monitor.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) revealed in their report that a total of P22.31-million cash transfers “were not supported with any written agreement between the province and the recipient local government units [LGUs].”

Auditors said that the memoranda are important as those contain the terms and condition surrounding the cash transfer such as the submission of utilization or accomplishment reports.

The audit team said that although all the cash assistance sampled were supported with the official receipts issued by the LGU-beneficiaries, “almost all were not supported” with a letter-request for financial assistance.

“Due to the above deficiencies, the province could not and did not monitor and validate the utilization of the cash grants made which was compounded by the absence of any policy regarding the same,” COA said.

The provincial government extended cash ranging from P10,000 to P1 million to different cities, municipalities and barangays, the purposes of which were undisclosed in the report.

Auditors added that three first-class city and municipalities took the major portion of the financial assistance: Antipolo City, Rizal province and the towns of Rodriguez and Binangonan.

COA said that it would have been more beneficial if LGUs from the lower bracket received the assistance.

The audit team recommended that provincial officers must enter into an agreement with recipient LGUs to indicate the release and use of the funds as well as terminal reports.

They also asked officials to “give first priority and allocate more subsidies to its third- and lower-class LGUs” to augment the resources of poorer LGUs.

In a reply, the provincial officials said that they did require the needed requirements from the LGUs “but only a few complied.”

They added that more subsidies were given to higher-class local government units because these areas are more populated.

“Thus, [higher-class LGUs] needed more funds for their constituents. Besides, financial assistance was based on a per capita basis,” stated the reply of provincial officers.

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