P3.6M dev’t funds in Noveleta, Cavite misspent
State auditors scored the municipality of Noveleta in Cavite for spending P3.6 million development funds to projects not related to social and economic development and environmental management.
In a 2015 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said P3,567,024.95 were charged to the 20 percent development funds for projects not related to development, thus depleting the fund and defeating the purpose of the fund.
The municipality appropriated P14,930,857 or 20 percent of its internal revenue allotment for development projects. In 2015, at least P10,861,974.04 was utilized, leaving an unexpended balance of P4,068,882.96.
But the municipality noted the following P3,567,024.95 expenses charged to the development fund – improvement/maintenance of public cemetery, rehabilitation of barangay hall at San Juan II, maintenance of Ambulance and gasoline, barangay health programs ( Financial Assistance), purchase of the medicine, purchase of gasoline, and payment of the electricity, water, and telephone.
These expenses were inconsistent with the allowable development projects, the auditors said.
“In the verification of the report on its utilization, it was found out that there are projects implemented totaling P3,567,024.95 inconsistent or not among those development projects contained under paragraph 3 of DILG and DBM Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2011-1,” the auditors said.
The auditors said the guidelines are clear that the following expenses are not allowed under the development fund – administrative expenses such as cash gifts, bonuses, food allowance, medical assistance, uniforms, supplies, meetings, communication, water and light, petroleum products and the like; salaries, wages or overtime pay; traveling expenses, whether domestic or foreign; registration or participation fees in training, seminars, conferences or conventions; construction, repair or refinishing of administrative offices; purchase of administrative office’ furniture, fixtures, equipment or appliances; and purchase, maintenance or repair of motor vehicles or motorcycles.
“Although the project/program could have benefited the constituents of the municipality, the development concerns or intent for which the fund was created could not be attained and could not be effectively utilized,” the auditors said.
The COA recommended that the municipal government led by its mayor Enrico Alvarez utilize the 20 percent development fund according to the guidelines, and charge expenses not related to development to the regular maintenance and other operating expenses appropriation.
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