39 Region 12 LGUs fail to liquidate P227 million in DILG project funds

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 4 Mar) – At least 39 local government units (LGUs) in Region 12 have failed to liquidate around P277 million in project funds previously released by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under its flagship programs, an official said.

Verna Roz Taperla, financial analyst of the DILG-Region 12’s project development management unit (PDMU), said the agency is currently working with the concerned LGUs to fast-track the long overdue liquidation of the funds, which were mainly from the agency’s releases for locally funded programs over a six-year period or from 2013 to 2018.

She said the funds were released to the LGUs through the agency’s memorandum of agreement (MOA)-based programs and the local government support fund (LGSF).

The LGSF grants were directly released by the DILG central office to the recipients while the funds for the MOA-based programs were disbursed through the regional office.

These were utilized for the construction of various infrastructure projects under the Bottom-up-Budgeting and the Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities/Assistance to Municipalities programs, she said.

Taperla said the agency, through its regional financial monitoring team, has been closely working with the 39 LGUs to address issues regarding the accumulated “unliquidated balances.”

She said the team met with the concerned municipal and provincial accountants last week to update the liquidation rate and reconcile the discrepancies between the financial reports of the DILG-12 and the LGUs.

Based on the program agreements, she said LGUs were originally given 30 days to liquidate and revert their outstanding balances to the DILG-12 and the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) after the completion of the projects.

“They (LGUs) were also given one year to complete the projects,” she said in a statement.

Josephine Leysa, DILG-Region 12 director, said they expect the concerned LGUs to exert their “best effort” to achieve 100-percent liquidation rate.

She said their coordination with the LGUs since last year has significantly improved the liquidation of funds for projects supported by the agency.

In November last year, PDMU reported that the fund liquidation rate of LGUs increased to 89 percent following its first coordination meeting with concerned accountants in October.

Leysa added that they are set to meet with LGU engineers, municipal local government operations officers and BTr representatives to discuss other concerns on the matter. (MindaNews)