Jul 032013
Some P11.5 million from President Benigno Aquino III’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) has been misspent by the city government of Cagayan de Oro.

In its 2012 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the fund was not used for its intended purpose, which was the “repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction of school buildings, irrigation systems, flood control and roads and bridges in areas affected by calamities.”

Instead, the money was spent on the construction of Indahag Water System Phase 2, which the COA said was not included in the specific list of relief and rehabilitation projects approved by the Department of Budget and Management.

The COA said while deviation from the list is allowed, a prior approval of the Office of the President is required by the rules.
“As noted, construction of (the) water system is not among the projects or activities to be funded from the PDAF. Any proposed changes, modifications or revision of the defined uses or purposes thereof require prior consent and/or approval of the grantor, in this case, the President of the Philippines or his authorized representative,” the COA said.

State auditors said the city administrator has explained that the city government viewed the PDAF allocation as a lump-sum subsidy, which was why it did not wait for the President’s approval when it implemented the water system project.
Aquino set aside a total of P50 million from his PDAF for Cagayan de Oro City, one of the hardest-hit areas by flooding due to Typhoon Sendong in December 2011.
The COA also questioned the city government for the supposedly lengthy delays in the implementation of supposed “quick disaster response” from P123.94 million cash donations received by the city from various sectors and foreign donors. — KBK, GMA News

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