THE opposition United Nationalist Alliance demanded that administration standard bearer Manuel Roxas II account for P7 billion in unliquidated fund transfers, including cash advances for foreign travel and typhoon rehabilitation funds that were incurred while he was Interior and Local Government secretary.
Citing a 2014 Commission on Audit report, UNA spokesman Mon Ilagan said the fund transfers also covered projects such as the Provision of Potable Water program (Salintubig), Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (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,” Ilagan said, quoting the CoA report.
“The receivables accounts accumulated to a huge amount of P7.040 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 audit agency said in its report.
Aside from the unliquidated fund transfers, the same report revealed that some P17 million in cash advances also remain unliquidated, Ilagan said.
In its 2013 annual financial report, CoA said the DILG under Roxas accrued P1.1 billion in unliquidated cash advances “granted for local and foreign travels and for special purpose/time-bound undertakings.”
“Mar Roxas’ track record as secretary of the Interior and secretary of Transportation and Communications speaks volumes of his executive abilities,” Ilagan said.
“They even took on projects for which they had no technical knowledge, and now they are having a hard time monitoring these and liquidating the advances,” Ilagan said in Filipino.
Ilagan said if Vice President Jejomar Binay became president, the administration would focus on the 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 said.
“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,” he added.
Of the P17 million in unliquidated cash advances, P5.54 million were from the DILG’s Central Office, which also houses the Office of the Secretary, the CoA report said.
“We recommended and management [DILG] 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 with unliquidated cash advances granted before Dec. 31, 2011,” CoA auditors said.
“The unliquidated cash advances of Roxas’ DILG in 2013 represented 10.85 percent of the total P10.14 billion unliquidated that year,” Ilagan said.
The Roxas camp played down the UNA demand.
“The entire amount has been downloaded to individual LGUs mainly as financial assistance for various BUB projects, and rehabilitation and reconstruction projects such as Bohol Earthquake Assistance and Recovery Assistance for Yolanda,” Rep. Barry Gutierrez, a Roxas spokesman, told The Standard.
“Responsibility for liquidation is with now the LGUs. Many projects are still being implemented and have thus not been liquidated. All these funds are fully accounted for and the entire process is completely transparent,” he added. With John Paolo Bencito
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