COA finds P63M deficiencies in Mabalacat COVID-19 funds

The Mabalacat City government did not comply with existing laws and regulations in managing some P57,025,957.22 worth of disbursement vouchers and P6,650,000 COVID-related cash advances, the Commission on Audit said in its 2020 annual report made public recently. 

COA Regional Director Ma. Corazon S. Gomez called the attention of the city government headed by Mayor Crisostomo Garbo to address the audit observations.

Audit of various transactions for CY 2020 revealed that 11 disbursement vouchers “showed absence of the necessary supporting documents or with documentary deficiencies” contrary to Section 4(6) of PD 1445 casting doubt on the validity and propriety of affected disbursements. It provides one of the fundamental principles governing the financial transactions and operations for any government agency. It states that Claims Against Government Funds Shall Be Supported With Complete Documentation.” 

Also, “the liquidation documents of cash advances granted for the city’s COVID-19 proactive measures to its officers and employees were not yet submitted to the audit team contrary to Item 1.1 of COA Circular No. 2012-001 dated June 14, 2012 which provides that a cash advance shall be reported as soon as the purpose for which it was given has been served which prevented the audit team from verifying the validity and propriety of said disbursements. Also due to the absence of liquidation documents, the funds intended for COVID-19 could not be determined/verified if actually used for such purpose.” 

The COA report noted that according to one of the accounting personnel, “the non-submission of liquidation documents was due to voluminous attachments for each type of transaction.” 


Check No. 511501 dated January 16, 2020 payable to PHILHEALTH amounting to P20,073,600.00 was not supported with the list of members including amount of contribution/premium from January 1 to December 31, 2019, barangay identification documents, and certificate of indigency or its equivalent thus impeded the verification/determination of qualified members. 

Absence of said documents cast doubt on the propriety and regularity of the claim; Under Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management (LDRRM) Fund, Check No. 528439 dated January 27, 2020 payable to 5-1 Construction Corporation for payment of 100% completion for improvement of Guyabano St. (Manhole and RCPC-Reinforced Concrete Pipe Culvert), Brgy. San Francisco, the Acceptance Report merely contained the final inspection  conducted but not the acceptance of the project from the contractor/supplier, other basic requirements for all types of procurement through public bidding were not also attached or submitted; Check No. 529651 dated February 19, 2020 payable to Zacarias Enterprises for payment of construction materials for the repair and maintenance – building and other structures (MRF-Dapdap) amounting to P757,142.86, the delivery date on sales invoice with No. 0522 was erased and the date October 3, 2019 was affixed. 

Two sales invoices were undated thus casting doubt whether the items purchased or procured were delivered on time and as scheduled. Actual delivery dates are necessary in the determination of prior and current year transactions; Under Check No. 533354 dated March 14, 2020 payable to Theya Enterprises amounting to 473,214.29, purchased items distributed to bed-ridden beneficiaries was not supported with the list of recipients which shall include information on complete name, address, contact number, items/date received, signature or thumb mark of recipients thus cast doubt whether the items were received by the intended beneficiaries / recipients; Under the Trust Fund and LDRRM Fund, the procurement of rice and food items amounting P17,207,925.82 and P14,310,356.34 respectively or a total of P31,518,282.16 to be distributed to Mabalaquenos who are affected by the ECQ were not supported with the distribution list or its equivalent thus, derailed the verification/confirmation whether the items were received by the end-user/Mabalaquenos. 

Although the claims were supported with requisition and issuance slip and the items were received by the city officials, the distribution list or its equivalent is still needed to determine the actual number of recipients/end-users including the quantity/quality of items received; 


Liquidation documents of cash advances totaling P6,650,000.00 were not yet submitted to the audit team although the purpose of the grant has already been served. 

The audit team sent to the Mabalacat City government a letter request dated January 18, 2021 requesting for the submission of accounts. Accountable officers were Rosanno S. Paquia (P150,000.00 Check No. 532768 March 02, 2020) Marlene M. Mendiola (P3,000,000.00 Check No. 533356 March 20, 2020), Aurora A. Rodrillo (P3,000,000.00 Check No. 533357 March 20, 2020) and Patrick Fiel Sacay (P500,000.00 Check No. 533459 March 25, 2020).  


The auditors recommended that Mayor Garbo instruct the city accountant, in coordination with other offices concerned to: (a) work on the immediate liquidation of cash advances as soon as the purposes of the grant have already been served; (b) expedite the completion and submission of the documentary deficiencies or requirements including distribution list or its equivalent of procured rice and food items to the audit team; and (c) ensure the completeness of the required supporting documents for every transaction and provide all the required data/information before any payment is made. 

The report said the Mabalacat city government has not yet commented on the audit recommendations.