Capitol granted P16.6M in loans to unlisted coops

Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - July 18, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Commission on Audit has questioned the P16.6 million loans granted by the Cebu provincial government to 11 cooperatives that were not in the master list of registered cooperatives of the Cooperative Development Authority.

The loans, which were granted by the Capitol in 2005, 2006 and 2012, remain unpaid as of December 31, 2015. 

The cooperatives that received loan grants from the Capitol were Bantayan Island Electric Cooperative  Inc (Banelco), Bogo Mother Seton Multi-Purpose Coop, Asturias Multi-Purpose Coop, La Valle Berde Multi-Purpose Coop, Caduawan Multi-Purpose Coop, Bantayan Vendors Multi-Purpose Coop, Barili Community Development Multi-Purpose Coop, Bakanti Multi-Purpose Coop, Bulongan Free Farmers Multi-Purpose Coop, Daanlungsod Multi-Purpose Coop and Tamana Multi-Purpose Coop.

A huge chunk of the loan went to BANELCO amounting to P15.21 million, while other cooperatives got a loan ranging from P25,000 to P441, 207.

There were 19 cooperatives that have outstanding balan-ces to the Capitol totaling P19.46 million. 

State auditors said three cooperatives that have the same name in the master list but their locations are outside Cebu have also loaned P1.1 million while five registered cooperatives have still outstanding payables totaling P1.73 million.

Cebu Provincial Accountant Ramon Dumayac said it is "impossible" for the Capitol to grant loans to cooperatives without certification from CDA.

He said the cooperatives were registered when it availed the loan from the province but were later dissolved because they did not renew their certifications. Cooperatives are required to renew annually their certificate of good standing from CDA.

"The cooperatives were actually registered that time but last year ra na natan-aw sa COA kadtong na-dissolve na sila," he said, adding that the country has 23,000 to 24,000 registered cooperatives way lower than 70,000 registered coop years back.

COA said the money could have been used in beneficial projects and programs of the government.

The body has called on the Provincial Accounting Office in coordination with the Provincial Legal Office to collect "these long overdue receivables" by issuing collection or demand letters.

The Capitol agreed to issue final demand letters against the said cooperatives.

Moreover, COA said the cash transfer or loan should be made only to bonafide cooperatives whose eligibility should pass scrutiny by the Bids and Awards Committee as required under COA Circular 2012-001 dated June 14, 2012.

 Section 64 of the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual (Volume 1) provides that "each agency accounting unit shall prepare a statement scheduling overdue accounts receivable quarterly.

The same provision states that the agency head or his authorized representative shall review and sign this statement as an indication that he has examined the list of overdue accounts and has instituted or will institute action for their collection. (FREEMAN)

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