Financial aid from provincial government liquidated- RAFI
Michael Vencynth H. Braga (The Freeman) - September 21, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. clarified that it has liquidated half of the financial assistance granted by the Cebu provincial government for the school building restoration and construction projects.

RAFI made the statement in response to the audit report of the Commission on Audit which included the organization as among those which failed to account the Capitol’s cash aid.

COA reported that RAFI and a certain “KKK” failed to liquidate P8.4 million and P332,000, respectively.

In a statement sent to The FREEMAN, Caroline Ballesteros, RAFI reputation management head, said the P8.4 million in “unliquidated” funds, which represent the Capitol’s counterpart, was intended for the Gabaldon Restoration Project and the High School Building Project. Each project was allocated P4.2 million.

The Gabaldon restoration project covers Jampang Elementary School and Sumaguan Elementary School in Argao town, Asturias Central School in Asturias, Balud Elementary School and Obong Elementary School in Dalaguete, and Liloan Central School and Suba Elementary School in Liloan.

The beneficiaries of the six-classroom high school building project were Dalaguete National High School and Kansi National High School in Tuburan.

Funds for the school building projects were released in 2013 and the projects were implemented in 2014.

Also in 2014, the two high school buildings, as well as five of seven Gabaldon buildings, were completed and were turned over to the school beneficiaries in the presence of Governor Hilario Davide III and local officials, Ballesteros said.

She explained that restoration of two Gabaldon schools in Liloan town was delayed due to adjustments in the costing.

“We have liquidated the P4.2 million for the two high school buildings. As for the Gabaldon project, we are now preparing a liquidation of the remaining P4.2 million and return the remaining unspent amount of P693,274, which is the Cebu Provincial Government’s share for the Gabaldon schools in Liloan town,” she reported.

She noted that RAFI does not merely receive financial assistance but also allocates funds for those projects since education is among its top priorities. In fact, she said, RAFI spent a total of P5.2 million more than what it originally committed to give for the Gabaldon project.

“Furthermore, RAFI operates in full transparency, and we regularly report to the Cebu Provincial School Board regarding the status of our projects, as these are under the Special Education Fund,” she added.

RAFI further made it clear that the “KKK” project mentioned by COA in its report is not the ”Kabataan, Kultura ug Kabilin” (KKK) project the organization is implementing under its Culture and Heritage Unit (CHU).

Ballesteros said Jocelyn Gerra, CHU executive director, was told by the Provincial Accountant’s Office that the KKK pointed out in the audit report was carried over in the January 2005 books but may have been implemented in 2004.

“They also don’t have any record of the nature of the project. RAFI’s KKK project, on the other hand, started in September 2009. It allows young people to tour museums and heritage sites as a way of learning concrete examples of their theoretical lessons. More importantly, the KKK does not seek financial sponsorships,” she explained. —/ATO (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ASTURIAS CENTRAL SCHOOL BALLESTEROS BALUD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND OBONG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAROLINE BALLESTEROS CEBU PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT GABALDON LILOAN PROJECT RAFI SCHOOL
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