Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd was accused of mismanaging government funds when he was the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government after the Commission on Audit (COA) discovered more than P7 billion in fund transfers that remain unliquidated.
According to United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman Mon Ilagan, state auditors included the findings in COA’s latest annual audit report, which showed that fund transfers during Roxas’ term amounting to a whopping 7.040 billion were questioned “due to non-monitoring of liquidations and submission of financial reports.”
The unliquidated fund transfers covered such projects as the Provision of Potable Water program (Salintubig), PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNA (Pamana), Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB), Rehabilitation Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) and the Public Transport Assistance Program (PTAP).
“This is an indication that the DILG failed to monitor the implementation of the projects,” the report said.
COA noted that “the receivables accounts accumulated to a huge amount of 7.040 billion because management failed to monitor the liquidations of the fund transfers and submission of the corresponding financial reports contrary to COA Circular No. 94-013.”
The same report cited by UNA also indicated that besides the unliquidated fund transfers, some 17 million in cash advances also remain unliquidated.
In its 2013 Annual Financial Report, COA said the DILG also accrued 1.1 billion in unliquidated cash advances “granted for local and foreign travels and for special purpose/time-bound undertakings.”
The unliquidated cash advances in 2013 represented 10.85 percent of the total 10.14 billion unliquidated that year.
“Mar Roxas’ track record as secretary of the Interior and secretary of Transportation and Communications speaks volumes of his executive abilities,” Ilagan said.
In contrast to Roxas’ management style, according to the UNA spokesman, the presidency of Vice President and UNA standard-bearer Jejomar Binay will focus on proper implementation and monitoring of government projects and programs.
“When investors see that projects are properly implemented, this will help attract more capital, generate more jobs and provide additional revenues to enable the state to take better care of our poor and marginalized countrymen,” he pointed out.
“The Vice President has vowed to appoint people with proven track record and experience to Cabinet positions so that they can hit the ground running and there will be no more learning curve,” Ilagan said.
COA said its Circular No. 94-013 provides that within 10 days after the end of each month/end of the agreed period for a project, the Implementing Agency (IA) shall submit the Report of Checks Issued (RCI) and the Report of Disbursement (RD) to report the utilization of the funds approved by the Head of IA.
It also noted in its 2014 audit report that “[c]ash advances granted to officers and employees totaling 17.097 million were not liquidated within the prescribed period, contrary to COA Circular Nos. 2012-001 and 2012-004.”
Of the 17 million, 5.54 million was from the DILG’s Central Office (DO), which also houses the Office of the Secretary.
“We recommended and management agreed to require the immediate liquidation and settlement of all the cash advances and initiate the filing of criminal and administrative charges against the Accountable Officers (AOs) with unliquidated cash advances granted before December 31, 2011 pursuant to COA Circular No. 2012-004,” the COA auditors said in the report.