COA flags LWUA failure to return P121-M in unused funds

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2019 01:44 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Audit has flagged the Local Water Utilities Administration for unutilized funds amounting to P121.5 million, which were not returned to the Department of Health.

Of this amount, state auditors said P23.306 million came from 37 completed projects and P98.276 million were from 14 incomplete projects.

The DOH is the administrator of the fund while LWUA is the implementing agency for the selection of qualified water districts as beneficiaries of the program, and for the implementation of the water supply improvement projects.

The audit team also noted unauthorized reallocation of funds amounting to P59.469 million without the approval of the DOH and the Department of Budget and Management. 

Disbursements of funds to 7 water district beneficiaries also exceeded the amount allocated by P8.687 million and 5 water districts with total allocation of P25.5 million remained not completed as of end of 2018.

“Further review of the implementation of 2010 DOH-funded projects for potable water supply disclosed that five projects remain uncompleted, two of which were not yet actually started as at this time,” the COA report said.

The audit team recommended that the LWUA management request a post-facto approval from DBM and DOH on the realignment of funds and excess disbursements, return the P121.583 million unutilized funds to DOH, submit status of incomplete projects and require water districts to submit liquidation reports to the regional offices of COA.

In the information submitted by LWUA to COA, savings were generated from various projects which were used for the completion of other projects as well as for new programs upon the request of the water districts.

A list composed of 14 water districts with no or incomplete liquidation was also submitted by LWUA.

Also according to LWUA, projects supposedly without approval for excess funds were also “for verification” of approved program of work while projects supposedly not yet completed such as in water districts in Jaro, Leyte and Claveria, Misamis Oriental were completed and substantially completed and operational, respectively.

A copy of the report was received by the LWUA board of directors and Acting Administrator Jeci Lapus.

The full audit report can be downloaded from the COA website.