Bawal yan! Disaster funds of Camalig LGU misspent on honoraria
State auditors scored the Camalig municipal government in Albay for using up P150,699.62 of its Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) to pay the honoraria of the Task Force/support staff for their services during the onslaught of Typhoon Nona.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said payment for the honoraria of the Task Force/support staff for services rendered during the typhoon in December 2015 was charged to the LDRRMF.
Auditors said this runs counter to the joint memorandum circular of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Interior and Local Government, which requires the LDRRMF to be used for disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.
“It must be noted that payment for honoraria was not among the allowed utilization of LDRRMF in aforecited regulation. Thus, payment of such honoraria which was charged to the LDRRMF has no legal basis,” the auditors said.
The management justified that the payment of honoraria was granted owing to the hardship the personnel endured during the disaster.
But the auditors maintained that the joint memorandum circular was clear about the utilization of the LDRRMF.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Maria Arhdail Baldo to stop the practice of charging to the LDRRMF the honoraria for services rendered, and instead give overtime pay subject to the Personal Services limitations and existing rules and regulations on overtime payment.