The municipality of Gasan in Marinduque in 2015 spent P4.5 million of its development fund on projects which are not capital investment in nature, defeating the purpose of the fund, state auditors said.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the implementation of various non-capital investment projects and activities amounting to P4,506,851.42 were charged to the development fund, “defeating the purpose for its establishment and depriving the public of vital socio-economic programs and projects.”
The development fund, or 20 percent of the internal revenue allotment, should contribute to the attainment of desirable socio-economic development and environmental management outcomes, and should partake the nature of investment or capital expenditures, according to a joint memorandum circular.
Among the development fund projects which do not conform with the above-mentioned provision are – Construction of Cemetery Chapel Phase 4; Construction of one unit Comfort Room; Construction of 24 LM Hanging Bridge; Labor of 18 units Core Shelter; Financial Assistance to Informal Settlers; Core Shelter Assistance Program – 26 units; Repair/Rehabilitation of Hanging Bridge; Construction of Two-way Zipline Phase I, Fidel Eco Park; Maintenance of Municipal Parks and Plazas; Repair and Maintenance of Municipal Patrol Boat–Bantay-Dagat; Construction of Standard Police Station Mess Hall; Rehabilitation of Municipal Building Roofing; Demolition of Old Public Market Ruin; Consultancy Services and Other Miscellaneous; Agri-Development Program (Other MOOE); Fabrication of Signboards for BUB Projects; Improvement of Municipal Cemetery, among others.
“The above projects/programs implemented during the year were not among the developmental projects being referred to under the subject Joint Memorandum Circular,” the auditors said.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Victoria Lim to adhere strictly with the guidelines provided under the joint memorandum circular to ensure efficient output, as well as come up with projects with developmental impact that would improve the socio-economic condition of the constituents.
According to Section 287 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, “Each local government units shall appropriate in its annual budget no less than twenty percent (20%) of its annual internal revenue allotment for development projects.”
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