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Disaster risk reduction funds in Nueva Vizcaya town misspent

Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:26

State auditors called out the attention of the municipality government of Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya for spending P1,581,814.33 from its Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) for projects and activities not exactly related to disaster risk reduction.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the following was charged to the LDRRMF Trust fund – improvement / rehabilitation of roads (FMRs), Barangay Health Centers / Stations and Day Care Centers; stipends for office and field works of the Municipal Engineering Office for the Administrative Aides, Civil Engineering Aide and Heavy Equipment Operator.

Auditor said these exenditures were not in consensus with the provisions of COA Circular No. 2012-002, which states that the LDRRMF should be spent on the following: 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 purchase of office/school equipment damaged by calamities during the budget year; payment of insurance premiums on property if indemnity includes damages or loss due to fire, earthquake, storm or other casualties and on the 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.

The auditors also said the LDRRMF may be spent for the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure facilities and evacuation centers provided that these were damaged by calamities during the budget year.

Auditors said the use of LDRRMF for expenditures not allowed under the regulations depleted the use of the fund which could have been used for disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness.

“These expenditures in effect depleted the LDRRMF other than those allowable projects and activities,” the auditors said.

The auditors were told that the LDRRMF was spent for the rehabilitation of projects damaged during calamities, and that the stipends were given to the municipal officials charged to the LDRRMF exactly in relation to their roles for disaster mitigation and preparedness.

The COA urged the municipal mayor Alberto Bumolo Jr. to comply with the guidelines in using the LDRRMF and provide the legal basis in using the LDRRMF for stipends.

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