Iloilo City Hall’s P44.20-M disaster risk fund ‘unused’

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE Iloilo City Government has failed to utilize some P44.20-million for its disaster risk programs last year.

In its 2018 annual audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the City Hall only used P35.24-million, or just 44.36 percent, last year from the total Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) budget totaling to P79, 453,917.71 for 2018.

The above amount was intended for the 70 percent mitigation and preparedness activities, thus leaving the underutilized amount of P44.20-million, or about 55.65 percent.

Likewise, the City utilized only P26.77-million or 19.49 percent of the total budget for Special Trust Fund amounting to P137,358,008 in 2018.

The unimplemented available resources could have enhanced the disaster preparedness and strengthen response capabilities of the City Government, pursuant to COA Circular 2012-002 dated Sept. 12, 2012.

In their report, the auditors recommended to the City Government to maximize the utilization of fund for disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

The disaster risk officer also agreed to oversee and closely monitor the implementation of the agency’s program implementation.

Apart from not fully utilizing its disaster risk fund, the City Government also continued to fail to impose the establishment of the material recovery facilities in all its barangays.

The recovery facilities are in compliance with Sec. 32 of R.A. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 dated July 24, 2000.

“Thus, collection, sorting, segregation, composting and recycling of wastes at source or at the barangay level, specifically for biodegradable and reusable wastes are not exhaustively implemented,” the audit report read.

The auditors urged the City Government to furnish the city auditor of the City Solid Waste Management Plan for the period 2017-2026 and approved by the National Solid Waste Management Commission.

The City Government is also tasked to strictly impose and monitor the establishment of waste management program in the barangays.