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COA wants Lapu-Lapu City to return unused financial aid for Asean summit

Posted Date: Monday, 6-Aug-2012

THE Commission on Audit (COA) advised the City Government of Lapu-Lapu to return the unused P8.7 million from the financial assistance it received from the National Government for the 12th Asean Summit in 2007.

State auditors also want the City to take advantage of the cheaper medicines offered by government-owned Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, instead of buying medicines from private firms.

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The City, according to COA’s 2011 audit report, has requested the Department of Tourism (DOT) to realign the remaining balance of the financial assistance for other projects in the city.

Specific purpose

The City received P15.6 million from DOT in December 2006 as one of the host cities of the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) Summit, held on Jan. 10-14, 2007.

The amount was intended for beautification projects, lighting and other activities in preparation for the summit.

The expenses the City incurred for the preparation only amounted to P6.9 million, the report said.

Mayor Paz Radaza had requested then DOT secretary Alberto Lim to realign the remaining P8.7 million for the City’s future projects.

Refund

Lim, however, suggested that the City refund the amount first, and then submit a new proposal in which it can use the same amount.

In an exit conference with COA, Mayor Radaza said she would send a follow-up letter requesting the DOT to realign the remaining funds.

State auditors also want the City to “legally justify” its use of P2.7 million from DOT’s financial assistance for another beautification project not related to the Asean summit.

According to COA, the memorandum of agreement between the City and DOT prohibits the City from using DOT’s cash assistance for other purposes except for the beatification, lighting and other projects related to the summit.

As to the procurement of medicines, the COA report said the City bought P2 million worth of medicines from private entities, “contrary to the sound procurement policies of the government.”

The City, according to the report, procured its medical supplies from private suppliers through public bidding.

State auditors noted a Department of Health order granting authority to all its retained hospitals to engage in wholesale procurement and distribution of essential drugs at the most affordable prices

In an exit conference, the City said it will verify the capacity of VSMMC to meet the medical supply requirements of the city.

Sourced: sunstar

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