MANILA Only a few non-food items (NFIs) found at the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) remain undistributed during past major disasters, its administrator Ricardo Jalad said Friday.
"The NFIs at the OCD warehouse found at the end of 2017 were part of the remaining items distributed during the past major disasters in the country. These residual items are only about 1 percent of the original number procured by the OCD," Jalad added.
He issued the statement following a Commission on Audit (COA) report claiming that PHP746,069 worth of NFIs and information education communication (IEC) materials have not been distributed.
"While these were initially allocated for redistribution in succeeding large-scale disasters, the OCD has opted to utilize remaining items as augmentation and/or stand-by NFIs for minor incidents and disaster relief operations because of its small quantity, making it more expensive to transport disaster-affected areas," the OCD administrator said.
The NFIs consist of mosquito nets, sleeping mats, beddings, luggage bags, reflector vests, portable emergency lights, heavy duty lamps, plastic crates, helmet with head lamp, rescue rope, ring buoy and flashlight.
Jalad added that they have "rebranded and updated" the IEC materials mentioned in the COA report.
The COA report said some PHP300,495 worth of IEC materials remained undistributed as of Dec. 31, 2017.
"On the DRRM (disaster risk reduction and management)-related IEC materials, OCD has rebranded and updated its information materials in 2016. The new sets of IEC materials were delivered in the last quarter of 2017," Jalad said.
Early this year, he said the agency has partnered with the Philippine Postal Corp. on the distribution of the IEC materials to the regional offices for their respective stakeholders while the remaining IEC materials are allotted for OCD activities at the national level and other walk-in clients.
Regarding the PHP47,700 worth of meal allowances given to 14 personnel of OCD-National Capital Region which was ordered disallowed by the COA, Jalad said this was already "addressed through the reiteration and strict implementation of existing policies and refraining from granting cash advances to OCD personnel, unless previous cash advances were fully liquidated."
"These cash advances of individuals are used for official travel or as petty cash by designated special disbursing officers, he added.
He said during the beginning of Fiscal Year 2018, OCD has discussed with COA its audit observations, findings, and recommendations.
The COA findings have been addressed by concerned services of the OCD, Jalad said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency