Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Bombit Alonto Adiong has directed the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) to evaluate and submit reports on the status of P63 million in municipal infrastructure projects, based on inspection and actual physical inventory.
Adiong said even if most of the projects implemented by municipal local government units (MLGUs) have manifested 80-100 per-cent completed in physical terms, the 13 projects “have not been declared fully implemented because a few documentary and evidentiary requirements are still lacking.”
He said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic had prompted a shift in LGUs’ priority program-direction into full social and healthcare attention, focused on crisis management and humanitarian responses since the first quarter of 2020.
According to reports, the Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered an investigation into the alleged failure of the Lanao del Sur provincial government to implement 13 development projects, which have already been granted advance payment representing 50 percent of the project cost.
Reached for comment, the Provincial Information Office (PIO) said a series of inspections started Monday on small infrastructure projects covered by memorandums of agreement (MOAs) between the provincial local government unit (PLGU) as funder, and 21 municipal LGUs as the implementing units.
In a letter to COA, the provincial accountant explained that municipal LGUs with unliquidated accounts “have failed to present final billing and evidentiary reports (on) the status of projects funded out of provincial allocation.”
Adiong said the provincial government has entered into MOAs with each of the 21 municipalities last year for the implementation of 13 infrastructure development projects.
The funding of these projects, Adiong said, was part of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares of the provincial government. Thus, funds corresponding to those projects have been released to the implementing MLGUs for which they are accountable under the MOA.
Adiong noted the COA gave the Lanao del Sur provincial government an unqualified opinion for the year 2019, which means the presentation of the financial report of the PLGU, as an agency, “is fair and has fully satisfied the requirements of the auditor.”
He said the Provincial Engineer’s Office was inspecting the current status of 13 out of the 21 projects “and will render a report within the week.”
Jennie Alonto Tamano, PIO head, said the provincial government was initially looking at “documentary requirements lacking” or delayed municipal submission of periodic accomplishment and financial report to the office of the provincial accountant.
“What remains to be complied are documentary requirements from the municipal local government units. We will again inspect Monday so we will know which municipalities have fully complied,” she said.
Alonto-Tamano said the projects were covered by individual MOAs between the provincial LGU and 21 municipal LGUs, including Calanugas, Pualas, Balindong and Taraka.
An audit report submitted by COA Director Bato Ali Jr. showed that the provincial government has released in 2019 a total P45.6 million to 21 municipalities of the province to fund small infrastructure projects.
The audit report confirmed the MOA— under which prequalified LGUs are allowed to undertake and implement infrastructure projects.
The COA has reminded LGUs that procurement of infrastructure projects when not completed or implemented “(violates both) the Procurement Law and the MOA.”