COA acknowledges reforms at MMDA

Published September 24, 2020, 4:25 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Chairman Danilo Lim of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) had good reason to take pride in the “unqualified opinion” it received from the Commission on Audit COA) for “fairness of presentation of its financial statements for the fiscal year 2019.”

It was the first time in its 45 years of existence the MMDA was cited with an “unqualified opinion” when the COA auditors, after thorough examination, concluded that the MMDA had fairly and appropriately presented all pertinent documents without any identified exceptions.

Chairman Lim is one of several former military men appointed by President Duterte to key positions in government since the start of his administration in 2016, among them, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu, and Interior Secretary Eduard Año. Once asked why so many of his cabinet members were ex-military men, the President said it is because they get things done.

Since Day One when he assumed the chairmanship of MMDA¸Lim gave his attention to details that are key to the operation of the whole organization. The MMDA is the main government agency implementing traffic control regulations spanning the 16 cities and town that make up the National Capital Region. It is also in charge of waste management, climate change, aimed at enhancing the quality of life in Metro Manila. The successful implementation of such programs require considerable funds for needed materials and equipment.

The COA recognized the MMDA as one of the few agencies of government whose material procurement is above board and in line with the requirements of government auditors. Chairman Lim cited the performance of all the MMDA’s officers and employees, but most especially the Finance and Administration Service headed by Assistant Secretary Romando Artes.

Funding is a key part of government operations – from its collection as taxes, to its allotment to various agencies of the government, to the approval of the national budget by Congress, and then the actual use of the funds by the various agencies of government.

The MMDA stands out as a good example of a government agency scrupulously using its funds for its programs. We need more organizations in the government like it.