Lanao provincial government disputes COA report

The Lanao del Sur provincial government has disputed claims that municipalities granted support to finance infrastructure development projects in 2019 were unable to implement the projects.

In a news update posted by the office of Gov. Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., it was stressed that the role of the provincial government in the transactions was merely to help 21 municipalities finance vital infrastructure projects.

The provincial government funded the projects through its share of the internal revenue allotment coming from the national government.

“Said funds have already been downloaded to these Municipal Local Government Units in the province and therefore, the implementation of these projects is now in their hands,” the provincial government clarified.

Majority of the recipients of the financial help were able to complete the projects and these include the completion of physical structure of the 13 projects.

However, as a result of the COVID-19 threat that confronted the localities, “few documentary and evidentiary requirements are still lacking.”

“This can be attributed to the sudden emergence of the COVID- 19 pandemic wherein the LGUs have focused their attention on crisis management and responses in the first quarter of 2020 till now,” the post said.

According to officials, the Provincial Engineer’s Office is monitoring the status of the projects and will render a full report on developments.

In its 2019 annual audit report of the province, COA noted that the 13 projects have not been completed despite the payment of 50 percent of the project cost.

In the audit report submitted by Director Bato S. Ali Jr., COA disclosed that the provincial government released in 2019 a total P45.6 million to 21 towns comprising the province to finance their respective development projects.

“Of the 21 projects that were entered into agreement between the Provincial Government and 21 Municipal Local Government Units, 14 were not implemented in violation of Procurement Law and of the Memorandum of Agreement,” COA reported.

The audit records showed the towns of Calanogas, Pualas, Balindong and Taraka reported full completion of their projects.

“It has been a year since the signing of the MOA between the PLGU – Lanao del Sur and various MLGUs and still the projects were still zero completion,” noted COA.

State auditors said at least 50 percent of the total project costs ranging from P1.5 million to P3 million have been paid after the MOA signing.