Candelaria LGU in Zambales hit for misspending dev’t funds
The municipal government of Candelaria in Zambales in 2015 used up P649,105 of its development funds on programs and activities which were not among the priority development projects.
In its annual audit report that ended in 2015, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the municipal government appropriated P17.984 million for the development fund in 2015.
Of this amount, P10,113,136.46 was utilized for programs, projects and activities as embodied in the Development Fund Plan.
At least P775,000 was appropriated for programs, projects and activities (PPAs) which may not be classified as priority development projects, the auditors said.
Of this amount, P502,802 worth of development fund for repair and maintenance of the municipal building, as well as the construction of the Sinabacan Barangay Hall, was spent for the purchase of materials and labor for the repair of comfort room, installation of tiles, payment of septic tank siphoning services, purchase of materials and labor for the construction of barangay hall.
Another P146,303 under the PPA Farmer’s Information Techno Pinoy was utilized for workshop, trainings, field day, meals and snacks, payment of services of speaker, among, others which were considered non-capital expenditures.
Auditors said the use of the development fund for non-priority projects depleted the fund which could have been spent on projects that partake the nature of investment or capital expenditure.
“The inclusion of programs, projects and activities not classified as priority development projects diminished the fund from fully financing the priority development projects intended to achieve desirable socio-economic development and environmental outcomes,” the auditors said.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Napoleon Edquid to utilize the development fund exclusively on programs, projects and activities that would contribute to the attainment of the desired socio-economic and environmental outcomes.
The development fund, or 20 percent of the internal revenue allotment, should contribute to the attainment of desirable socio-economic development and environmental management outcomes, and should partake the nature of investment or capital expenditures, according to Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2011-1.
According to Section 287 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code: “Each local government units shall appropriate in its annual budget no less than twenty percent (20%) of its annual internal revenue allotment for development projects.”
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