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P45M dev’t projects in Catanduanes left to dust

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At least P45.154 million worth of 25 development projects in Catanduanes were left unimplemented in 2015, state auditors said.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the provincial government failed to implement the following development projects – improvement of water systems, rehabilitation of Baras Medicare Center, improvement of Gigmoto District Hospital, construction of the provincial multi-purpose building/training center, construction of a fountain, Philippine Rural Development Program, concreting of farm to market roads, rehabilitation of spillway, urban greening project, mangrove/coastal greening, seedling production project, construction of drainage system, among others.

Meanwhile, there are three projects worth P633,950.06 from the continuing appropriations that remained unimplemented – construction of a multi-purpose hall in Caramoran, farm mechanization, and freshwater mineral resources management and regulation.

The auditors said the failure of the provincial government to implement the projects deprived the constituents of the benefits from the fund.

“The unutilized funds… could be viewed as funds that could have benefited the province’s constituents had these been used in implementing the projects as targeted. Although the unused funds could still be used for the same development projects as intended as these are considered continuing appropriations, the opportunity of the residents/beneficiaries to enjoy such benefits in earlier time had been lost,” the auditors said.

“The partial utilization of the fund resulted to non-achievement of the purpose for which it was established, to the disadvantage of the Catandunganons,” the auditors added.

The COA urged the provincial governor Araceli Wong to instruct the Provincial Planning and Development Officer and the Provincial Engineer to coordinate and closely monitor the implementation of the development fund projects.

During the exit conference, the provincial engineer informed the auditors that most of the projects were already bid out and awarded and thus are underway for implementation.