MMDA’s financial, management discrepancies pointed out by state auditors

Published October 2, 2020, 10:03 PM

by Ben Rosario

The Commission on Audit (COA) found over a dozen adverse observations in its audit of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), an agency that boasted last month as having received “the highest audit rating” from the audit agency.

In the 2019 annual audit report released Wednesday, COA disclosed that audit disallowances amounting to  P861.85 million and suspensions totaling over P123.50 million remained unsettled. 

COA also bared that 59 out of the 108 programmed flood control projects for the year and with an allocation of P639.56 million were not completed due to the absence of procurement timelines in the Annual Procurement Plan and procurement delays.

“Three hundred ninety-nine (399) serviceable vehicles were not registered in  CY 2019 due to failure to comply with LTO (Land Transportation Office) inspection, as most of them need to undergo repairs/rehabilitation,” the report said.

Ten notices of disallowances of expenditures totaling P861,853,266.65 have not been settled despite COA rulings upholding the decision to disauthorize the disbursement that were made from 2010 to 2016.

Notices of suspension as of December, 2019 totaled P123,508,557.69.

COA called on the MMDA management to “enforce the immediate settlement of the audit suspensions and disallowances.”

The state audit agency lamented that there was slow implementation of 108 projects that received from government an allocation of P639.56 million.

 “Moreover, various projects totaling P500.368 million were not completed/implemented within the specific contract time due to inadequate planning and absence of coordination mechanism with the other concerned agencies and stakeholders, which hindered the MMDA in attaining its objective to mitigate flooding in the metropolis,” said COA.

State auditors also noted low disbursement of allotment by at least P973.46 million.  The MMDA received some P7.153 billion in 2019 and was able to obligate P6.179 billion.

“Moreover, of the total allotment, only P4,832,267,073 or 67.56 percent was actually disbursed due to the delayed/non-implementation of projects and procurement activities,” it was reported.

With regards the implementation of 108 flood control projects in 2019,  COA said it reviewed the 2019 APP for infrastructure projects and found that “no  procurement time schedules for each procurement activity was provided in every project” reflected in it.

Auditors noted a slow processing of the procurement activities, as they particularly took notice that public bidding activities were completed from 161 to 314 days which were over the “ideal maximum period of 141 calendar days.”

COA called for the swift implementation of procurement activities, saying that these should be done as early as the first quarter of the year to ensure completion before the onset of the rainy season.

Audit examiners reminded MMDA to comply with the provision of Republic Act 4136 requiring the registration  of all motor vehicles.

According to auditors this was not observed in the case of 399 serviceable vehicles apparently for failing to pass LTO inspection due to defects of signals system, electrical wiring and other safety features.

Six of the vehicles were still registered under the name of the previous owners, COA said.

MMDA officials said the Transport Unit and Supply Division will address the audit observations.