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No 2015 disaster reduction investment plan in Balud, Masbate

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The municipal government of Balud in Masbate failed to prepare and submit its Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) investment plan in 2015, state auditors said.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the investment prepared should be prepared annually, as it presents the 30 percent allocation fund for Quick Response Fund in lump sump and the allocation for disaster mitigation, prevention and preparedness with details as to the projects and activities to be funded.

The investment plan should also include a list of project and activities to be charged to the unexpended LDRRMF from previous years.

The COA in a circular requires the submission of the LDRRMF investment plan and a monthly report on sources and utilizations, pursuant to the authority of COA to promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

The plan also details the use of the LDRRMF, to be used for disaster risk management activities – pre-disaster preparedness programs such as training of personnel, and purchase of life saving and rescue equipment and supplies and medicines; post-disaster activities such as repair and rehabilitation of public infrastructures and purchases of office or school equipment; payment of insurance premiums on property if indemnity include damages of loss due to fire, earthquake, storm or other casualties and on personnel accident insurance of accredited community disaster volunteers; and relief and recovery programs in communities or areas stricken by disasters, calamities, epidemics or complex emergencies.

Auditors said the municipality appropriated P4,566,841.1 for its LDRRMF in 2015, out of which P3,196,788.77 was established as the budget year’s pre-disaster preparedness and mitigation fund.

“Utilization of this amount should have been duly embodied under the required LDRRMF investment plan in order to assure propriety of its fund management,” auditors said.

“Unfortunately, the agency failed to present any LDRRM Fund Investment Plan,” it added.

Auditor said the absence of an investment plan “posed the risk of possible fund misuse and/or misapplication.”

The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (LDRRMO) informed the auditors that an investment plan was prepared but a copy was not furnished to the auditors due to lack of signatures.

The municipal mayor Ruben Jude Lim assured the auditors the LDRRMO would submit the 2016 investment plan at the earliest time possible.

The COA recommended the LDRRMO to be put to task of submitting the required LDRRMF investment plan on time as well as on the submission of the monthly report on source and utilization.