LWUA to audit Metro Kidapawan Water District

Pichay told reporters here that the  audit will start as soon as a team of auditors from Manila arrives in the city.

“Our aim here is to find out if, indeed, the funds were mismanaged or there was misuse of funds,” Pichay said in an interview over radio station DXND.

One of the issues the audit will look into is the operating cost the agency incurred during the foreign travels of some employees of the MKWD, including the board of directors (BoD).          

Based on records, top officials of the MKWD left the country six times in 2008: January 15, March 31, June 7, August 7, October 14, and Nov 11. 

“We’ll try to find out if the agency sought approval from the Office of the President in every foreign travel they made, which is a requirement for every GOCC (government-owned and controlled corporation),” he said.          

He also tasked the audit team to look into the reported transaction entered into by MKWD with the Land Bank of the Philippines in 2008.

Pichay said he was told the agency entered into a loan agreement with the Land Bank sometime last year without seeking a waiver from the LWUA, thus violating Presidential Decree 198. 

“It’s not a rule or a policy, it’s a law that they violated, if, indeed, that’s true,” he said. 

Pichay said the request for MKWD’s audit came from Kidapawan City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco and his vice-mayor, Joseph Evangelista. 

The LWUA has not conducted operational audit of MKWD since 2006 and Pichay cited as reason the lack of LWU manpower to perform such task.

“All over the country, we have more than 600 water districts.   We do the audit at random.   Since there was a request for audit, we have created a team to perform such task.   This case is special,” he said.

Gantuangco’s request for audit came after 22 employees of MKWD wrote him a petition on January 2009 that they want audit of the agency in the belief that funds have been mismanaged since 2006.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)