Cebu News

In Cebu City in 2018 P375 million projects unimplemented

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City has not implemented development projects worth at least P375.6 million in 2018, the Commission on Audit said.

In its Audit Observation Memorandum, COA said the delay in the implementation of programmed projects reflects the lack of planning, incomplete conduct of feasibility studies, and surveys of the proposed projects prior to the inclusion of the city’s Annual Investment Plan.

“We recommend that the management (city) facilitate the timely preparation of POWE (program of works and estimates) of the proposed projects and the timely procurement of the same,” portion of the AOM reads.

The AOM was signed by State Auditor V Maria Daisy Bercede and State Auditor IV Lita Lamparas.

COA recommended that the city should evaluate the viability of the projects that were not implemented during the year for appropriate realignment.

The FREEMAN learned that the projects were not implemented within 2018 because of lengthy government processes.

City Engineer Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez said, though, “We need to indicate that the items subject of the audit observation are being acted upon by our office.”

There are eight ongoing projects. Eighteen others have been issued with notices of award, six projects have approved budget for the contract, while five projects are on POWE stage.

Eleven other projects that were supposed to be implemented by the city’s engineering department are subject for cancellation while 13 others that were supposed to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways are also subject for cancellation. 

Most of the projects include the construction of Portland cement concrete pavement and slope protection.

With this situation, the city’s engineering department will have a piled up workload in succeeding years, COA said.

COA said the unutilized P375.6 million funds is due to the city’s inadequate Annual Investment Plan and Annual Procurement Plan (APP), which is contrary to the provisions of Republic Act 9184 and delayed the socio-economic benefits and services for constituents.

In 2018, the city appropriated a total of P375,649,068.05 for development fund for 62 projects.

“The program of works and estimates were also not prepared prior to the budgeting process, thus the BAC cannot immediately start with the procurement process once the budget is approved since the estimate is necessary for the setting of the ABC for the contract, thereby leading to the delayed commencement of the project implementation,” the COA report reads.

COA recommended that the city should plan development projects, activities, programs under the 20 percent development fund by conducting a thorough study and investigation of the projects.

It also said that the city should look into the location of the proposed projects to avoid problems with non-existence of identified sites, problems with road right of way and duplication of projects with DPWH prior to the inclusion in the city’s Annual Investment Plan. —  JMO (FREEMAN)

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