San Antonio LGU, Zambales fails to utilize P9M disaster risk reduction funds
The municipality of San Antonio in Zambales in 2015 failed to optimize its use of its P10.5 million Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF), of which only 13 percent or P1.36 million was utilized, state auditors said.
In its annual audit report that ended in 2015, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the municipality had P10,471,383.34 LDRRMF during the year – P5.095 million alloted from five percent of the total budget, and P796,367.40 from the supplemental budget, P1,209,800 worth of continuing appropriation, and P3,370,215.94 worth of prior appropriation transferred to the special trust fund.
But at the end of the year, the municipality was unable to utilize as much as P9,109,902.69 or 87 percent of the LDRRMF.
This is comprised of the following unutilized balances – P1,097,780.22 Quick Response Fund, P678,199.53 MOOE and P3,013,500 under the mitigation fund, P1,209,800 continuing appropriation, and P3,110,622.94 special trust fund.
Auditors said although there is a provincial council resolution declaring the entire Zambales province under a state of calamity in the aftermath of Typhoon Lando, the Sangguniang Bayan failed to issue a resolution to authorize the use of such fund.
Auditors added that the appropriation for Capital Outlay and continuing appropriation amounting to P3,111,957.18 remained unused.
“Capital Outlay should have been used for the procurement of rescue equipment and supplies, rescue vehicle and rehabilitation of Dinumagat-Antipolo Retaining Wall (Phase II). Having these set of pre-disaster equipment needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information will help mitigate disaster risk and enhance preparedness measures of the municipality,” the auditors said.
Auditors said the failure of the municipality to utilize its LDRRMF runs counter to Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Act, which states that the LDRRMF should be spent on programs and activities that support pre-disaster and disaster risk management.
The law states that: “Not less than five percent (5%) of the estimated revenue from regular sources shall be set aside as the LDRRMF to support disaster risk management activities such as, but not limited to, pre- disaster preparedness programs including training, purchasing life-saving rescue equipment supplies and medicines, for post- disaster activities, and for the payment of premiums on calamity insurance.”
“The above information showed that the Municipality did not effectively monitor its LDRRMF against the programmed plans and activities in the MDRRMF Investment Plan based on the 13 percent or P1,361,480.00 utilization of the total funds available for the LDRRMF,” auditors said.
“As a result, the desired goals of reducing disaster risk and enhancing disaster preparedness and response capabilities may not be optimally achieved by the Municipality,” auditors added.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Estela Antipolo to have the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Officer monitor and evaluate the utilization of LDRRMF to ensure the full implementation of the pre-disaster preparedness activities.
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