COA asks 31 city villages to settle P1.2-M financial aid

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the 31 villages in Iloilo City to settle their cash advances totaling P1.2-million in 2018.

The auditors, in their annual report on Iloilo City’s financial transactions, discovered the unliquidated cash advances released as financial assistance to the 31 barangays.

“A liquidation report shows the manner of utilization of the financial assistance. Management review of this report ensures that the fund is used for the intended public purpose,” read the COA report.

The Iloilo City government released the financial aid to 31 barangays for “various purposes” for years 2012 to 2018.

The financial assistance, which ranged from P5,000 to P500,000, was for the implementation of projects as identified by the barangays.

Pursuant to COA Circular 94-013 on policies in the grant, utilization, and liquidation of the cash assistance, each concerned state agencies are required to submit their liquidation report in 10 days.

Despite the demand, the auditors said the villages have not yet submitted their liquidation report.

This resulted in delayed accounting and reporting of the utilization of the funds and verification of the projects.

The auditors said that demand letters were sent to the barangays to require liquidation of the funds but to no avail.

“It is important that the project and its timetable are well documented and defined to enforce prompt liquidation of the financial assistance within ten days after the project completion based on the circular,” the auditors said.

The auditors said the non-submission to the City Hall by the barangays of the required liquidation reports resulted in delayed accounting and reporting of the utilization of the funds.

In the report, the auditors directed barangays with unliquidated financial assistance to submit immediately the liquidation reports.

Otherwise, the state auditors may require the concerned villages to return the financial aid especially those with long outstanding prior years’ balances.

Likewise, the auditors asked the city accountant and head of the Internal Audit Services Office to cause the prompt accounting and reporting of the utilization of financial assistance by the barangays to ensure liquidation of fund transfers.