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P3M disaster funds misspent in Dipaculao, Aurora

Nov 30, 2016 @ 19:44
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Over P3 million worth of expenses not related to disaster preparedness were improperly charged to the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) in the municipality of Dipaculao in Aurora, state auditors said.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said a post audit of disbursements showed that various expenses totaling P3,143,377.74 were charged to the LDRRMF instead of charging these to the regular Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) fund of the Municipality.

The expenses improperly charged to the LDRRMF were: purchase of medicines for regular use of Municipal Health Office; meals and snacks used during the “Lakbay Alalay” and Oplan “Ligtas Dagat” Semana Santa 2015; office tables and chairs for MDRRMC Emergency Operation Center; two pieces window type air condition units-MDRRMC Emergency Operation Center; salary differential of LDRRMO at the Office of the Mayor; travelling allowance to Multi-Stakeholders Lessons Learned Conference; meals and snacks of field evaluators OCD Region 3 Gawad Kalasag; tarpulin used for Gawad Kalasag awardee, among others.

“These were not among the authorized expenses to be charged against the fund and not related to pre-disaster preparedness programs,” the auditors said.

The auditors said the use of the LDRRMF on unauthorized expenditures depleted the fund for use for disaster preparation.

“The utilization of the DRRMF other than its intended purpose/use may result in non-availability of sufficient funds for calamity purposes,” the auditors said.

The COA urged the municipal mayor Reynante Tolentino to instruct the Municipal Budget Officer, Municipal Accountant and DRRM Officer to refrain from using the LDRRMF for programs, projects and activities not directly related to pre-disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and rescue operations.

Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act states that the LDRRMF or known as the local calamity fund shall be generated from five percent of the estimated revenue from regular resources.

This fund is set to be used for disaster risk management activities such as pre-disaster preparedness programs such as training of personnel, and purchase of life saving and rescue equipment and supplies and medicines; post-disaster activities such as repair and rehabilitation of public infrastructures and purchases of office or school equipment; payment of insurance premiums on property if indemnity include damages of loss due to fire, earthquake, storm or other casualties and on personnel accident insurance of accredited community disaster volunteers; and relief and recovery programs in communities or areas stricken by disasters, calamities, epidemics or complex emergencies.

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