Sun, 03 Jul 2022

MANILA - The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) on Wednesday maintained that it has complied with all observations and recommendations made by the Commission on Audit (COA) for calendar year 2021.

"In the said report, the COA Resident Auditor gave OCD an "Unmodified Opinion on the fairness of the presentation of the financial statements of OCD. An Unmodified Opinion means that OCD strictly adheres to all relevant and applicable accounting and auditing rules and regulations," the agency said in a statement.
The agency made the clarification following a report that it was "flagged" by the state audit body over unfinished coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) facilities last year as well as the use of quick response funds (QRFs).

It added that this information was as of December last year only and is no longer up to date.

"As of June 21, 2022, 15 facility construction projects have already been completed. These are the projects of the Municipality of Jala-Jala, Municipality of Corcuera, Romblon, Municipality of Sofronio Espanola, Palawan, Municipality of Cagayancillo, Palawan, Municipality of Cuyo, Palawan, Municipality of Concepcion, Iloilo, Malaybalay City, Province of Bukidnon, Valencia City, Province of Bukidnon, City Government of Kidapawan, Cotabato, Provincial Government of Sultan Kudarat, Municipality of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, Municipality of Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat, Municipality of Surallah, Province of South Cotabato, Municipality of Midsayap, Province of Cotabato, and Koronadal, South Cotabato," the OCD said.

It also reported that the facility construction status of Magsaysay, Palawan is now at 85 percent, Taytay, Palawan is at 90 percent, Santa Cruz, Marinduque at 97 percent, Torrijos, Marinduque at 99 percent, Libacao, Aklan at 47 percent, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat at 90 percent and Municipality of Malungon, Sarangani at 96 percent completion status.

"To sum, the total fund provided by OCD for LGU (local government unit) facility construction/conversion projects and support to LGU isolation facilities is PHP 769,529,293.39, with PHP 605,229,143.58 or 79 percent fully utilized/obligated and PHP 164,300,149.81 or 21 percent unutilized/ reverted to the National Treasury," it added.

The OCD said it considers the situation of the LGU recipients of the funds given the nuances of the Covid-19 situation in their localities which have affected project implementation.

Such situations include the occurrence of surges in Covid-19 cases and varying community quarantine classification which affected procurement processes and project timelines, issues on the location of the facility which led to the selection of another project site, compliance to mandated revision of plans in compliance to Department of Health directives and some projects starting during the height of the rainy season which affected construction schedules.

The OCD also assured observance of due diligence in communicating to the respective LGUs to report the status of the projects as well as the submission of all necessary liquidation instruments.

It also added that QRFs are being properly used to sustain operations during disasters including the pandemic, which cover operational expenses for isolation facilities such as food for patients and workers, janitorial and housekeeping services, laundry, accommodation for the frontline health staff manning the facilities as well as logistics support during disaster operations.

"The use of the funds are demand driven, so with the decreasing number of Covid-19 cases, the use of funds would also go down. OCD continues to capacitate both the central and regional offices on the proper observance of procurement processes and the handling of funds in keeping with the prevailing accounting rules and regulations," it added.

The agency has been working closely with COA during the entire pandemic period to ensure proper spending of public funds. (PNA)

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