By Ben Rosario
The Commission on Audit has flagged the Department of Interior and Local Government anti-drug campaign when it transferred some P99.19 million in funds to other agencies a few days before the mandatory reversion to the government treasury.
In its 2017 annual audit report for the DILG, COA asked the department to direct the three agencies to liquidate the funding or demand the immediate refund of the unused balance.
The COA disclosed that a portion DILG’s funding for the implementation of the Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga MASA MASID) program was sent to the Philippine Public Safety College, the Local Government Academy and the Presidential Communications Operations Office last December 2017.
The PPSC which received P50 million was tasked to use the money for “training and counter-extremism” while the LGA was supposed to utilize P38.69 million for “training on anti-corruption.”
The remainder, P10.5 million was allotted to the PCOO to implement a “Masa Masid communication action plan.”
Since the budget transfer occurred at the end of the year, state auditors believe that there was little chance the three agencies were able to implement the anti-drug campaign programs that were required in exchange of the money.
Apparently, COA was aware that the transfer of the DILG surplus funds was meant merely to avoid mandatory reversion to the national treasury.
Auditors said it was “unrealistic” for the DILG to expect the three agencies to execute their respective tasks and use the funds before the end of 2017.
The purposes for the fund transfers also “may no longer be relevant,” since Congress discontinued the funding of the program in the 2018 General Appropriations Act, the audit report noted.
State auditors also pointed out that the activities of three agencies would “overlap and duplicate” those of a new DILG project called National Advocacy for the Prevention of Illegal Drugs, Criminal, Corruption and Violent Extremism.
Reacting to the audit observation, the DILG management said the three agencies were still expected to implement their respective programs by the end of December 2017.
In the same report, the COA chided DILG for the zero accomplishment rates of two programs where the department poured at least P93.01 million in funds.
In its audit examination, the state audit agency said that there were not physical and financial accomplishment reports submitted for the implementation of the strengthening Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council and the setting up of the Masa Masid feedback mechanism ha physical and financial accomplishment.
Tags: agencies, anti-drug campaign, audit report, COA, Commission on Audit, DILG, implementation, Local Government Academy, Philippine Public Safety College, Presidential Communications Operations Office, state auditors