City Hall execs’ travel expenses ‘extravagant’

By: Gerome Dalipe

OFFICIALS of the Iloilo City Hall in 2018 claimed travel expenses that exceeded the daily prescribed rate by P800.

The Commission on Audit (COA) considered it as “excessive and extravagant utilization of government   funds.”

The practice by city officials put the government in a disadvantageous position, the state auditors said in their annual report.

The auditors urged the City Government to strictly comply with the rules and regulations and rates of allowances for claims of expenses for official travel pursuant to Executive Order 298.

EO 298, which amended by EO 77 dated March 15, 2019, provides rules and regulations and new rates of allowances for official local and foreign travels of government personnel to ensure economical and prudent use of government funds.

Likewise, the City’s balances of the suspensions, disallowances, and charges totaled P172 million as of Dec. 31, 2018.

The City’s settlement of suspensions for 2018 pertaining to the construction of the new Iloilo City Hall building amounting to P144 million.

Likewise, the total disallowance of P163,055,150.96 includes a letter of credit for the purchase of a compactor for the sanitary landfill worth ₱39.7 million.

The Special Audit Team also disallowed the construction of the new Iloilo City Hall since the payments made are without valid appropriation amounting to P19.8 million.

The City’s P20,000 productivity enhancement incentives to officials and employees in 2018 also exceeded by P5,000.

The act violated Executive Order 80 dated July 20, 2012, and the Department of Budget and Management Budget Circular 2014-3 dated Dec. 2, 2014. This resulted in irregular disbursements of a fund totaling P24,244,500.00.

The auditors asked the City Government to refund the excess payments and adhere strictly to the existing laws, rules, and regulations on the grant of productivity enhancement incentive.