COA commends Mamasapano officials for 'optimal' use of P18 million in funds

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2018 06:12 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Audit (COA) has commended officials of the town of Mamasapano, Maguindanao for their “optimal” utilization of the local government's P14.399-million Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for various activities and projects.

In their 2017 audit report on Mamasapano, government auditors said municipal officials led by Mayor Tahirodin Benzar Ampatuan used 20 percent of the town's share of IRA, in line with the 2011 circular issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Budget and Management.

The programs and activities ranged from infrastructure projects such as construction of municipal and farm-to-market roads worth P925,000 and economic programs such as a trade fair where P222,220 in funds were spent.

Others include the construction of drainage and canals, an integrated solid waste management project, improvement of a multi-purpose building, and animal feed distribution. 

“In view of the above observation, the management should be acknowledged for their effective utilization of their 20 percent Economic Development Fund and be commended for the completion of its various programs which are beneficial to its constituents” the COA said. 

Government auditors also noted that the Mamasapano government utilized P3.675 million for disaster mitigation programs and quick response actions such as spending on medicine, food supplies, welfare goods and training.

The town hogged the headlines in 2015 as the site of the bloody encounter between government troops and armed men from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangasamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. 

The firefights followed a raid to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, who died in the operation. A total of 44 elite police commandos were killed in the ensuing gun battles, along with several rebel fighters and civilians. 

“Since LGU (Local Government Unit) Mamasapano is a consistent calamity-inflicted area, be it man-made [or] natural, we recommend the local chief executive to continue the strengthening of its mitigation or preventive activities for the DRRM (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management). We commend them for their accomplishments in their municipality,” the COA said.

The officials of Mamasapano said they would continue to be “productive and responsive” in the management of their disaster funds, COA said.