Audit of midnight appropriations in Benguet sought

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – Concerned sectors in the different municipalities are requesting the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct an audit on the actual utilization of the alleged midnight appropriation that was earmarked by the previous administration for various expenditures of the provincial government.

Sources, who requested anonymity for personal reasons, claimed it is important for the COA to issue its findings on how was the utilization of the over P100.8 million that was covered by an appropriation ordinance believed to be a midnight appropriation that passed upon by the former provincial board on June 13, 2016.

On May 30, 2016, former Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan, Sr. forwarded to the former provincial board a copy of the proposed Supplemental Budget No. 2 for the same year of the province involving the amount of over P100.8 million for the various programs and projects of the provincial government.

The former governor stated that the implementation of the funded programs and projects are reportedly imperative in the delivery of effective public service and that the requisite documents in support of the appropriation were said to be in order.

The amount to support the supplemental budget was sourced from general fund, provincial development which were not used up for their prescribed purposes among the programs and projects where the said funds were used include the purchase of pocket mining equipment, purchase of flashlights, purchase of work books for day care centers, purchase of steel water tanks, financial assistance for the honoraria for medical doctors specialized for persons with disabilities, occupational and physical therapists; financial assistance for women’s congress; financial assistance to the parameter’s post for quarterly water testing for the 10 monitoring stations in Benguet; financial assistance to various barangays for installation of electricity in the barangays; financial assistance to high schools for the purchase of native attire; purchase of fire trucks; purchase of drum and lyre uniforms; purchase of parachutes; purchase of LCD projectors and electric guitars; purchase of sewing machines and other similar machines; purchase of monoblock chairs; purchase of home economics equipment; purchase of vests; purchase of rain coats and flashlights; purchase of indigenous musical instruments; purchase of plastic tables; purchase of hand held radios; purchase of lap top computers and other purchases that were donated to the different beneficiaries provincewide.

The sources claimed that it is appropriate that the utilization of the huge amount of government funds should be properly audited to ensure that the same were received by the beneficiaries as part of what was described by them as the fulfillment of election promises during the  previous political exercise.

Under the provisions of the Local government code, local governments are authorized to have their supplemental budgets within the current year to augment the implementation of programs and projects that were previously funded under their annual budgets provided that there will be available sources of funds aside from what had been earlier appropriated for such purposes.

By HENT

 

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