City Hall’s P224.50-M devt projects not fully implemented

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE Iloilo City Government appropriated about P224.50-million for 112 development projects in 2018.

The funding was sourced from the 20 percent development fund of the City’s Internal Revenue Allotment amounting to P912.90-million.

But of the 112 proposed projects, only eight, or 7.14 percent, of these development projects were fully implemented as of Dec.31, 2018, the Commission on Audit (COA) discovered.

So, what caused the minimal utilization of the 20 percent development fund?

The city engineers cited “inadequate logistical support” and the need to review the procurement processes.

The City Planning and Development Office, for its part, suggested “pro-active and corrective measures” in implementing these projects to avoid implementation of projects on lots/sites not owned by the city government.

“In effect, the desired socio-economic benefits expected to be obtained from the unimplemented projects had the same been timely and fully implemented were not enjoyed by the constituents,” read the COA report.

The City Government allotted P182.58 million of its IRA of P912.90 million for its 20 percent development fund.

The allocation aimed at implementing about112 projects identified in the 2018 Annual Investment Plan of the City Government.

These projects should have been for “desirable socio-economic development and environmental management outcomes” of each government unit.

But with only eight out of 112 proposed development projects that were completed, it “deprived the city’s constituents of the vital services that could have been derived therefrom had these projects been implemented on time.”

Such discrepancy ran in contrast to the guidelines issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Budget and Management joint memorandum circular.

The city engineer told the state auditors that a technical staff meeting was conducted to discuss and find out the probable causes of delay that resulted in the minimal utilization of the development fund.

Apart from the inadequate logistical support, there is a need to review the procurement process including the number of steps, departments, signatories that the documents have to go through prior to bidding.

The City Planning and Development Office also said that verification on the status of lot ownership intended as the site of the proposed projects prior to inclusion in the City’s Annual Development Plan/Annual Investment Program.

It also said they have started following up pro-active and corrective measures to avoid implementation of projects on lots/sites not owned by the city government.

In the report, the auditors said there is a need to coordinate with the city engineer, bids and awards, and offices involved and closely monitor and evaluate the implementation of development projects.

This is also ensuring timely implementation of programs and projects identified in the Annual Investment Plan.