The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed at least 39 local government units in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) to fast track the liquidation of around PHP277 million in outstanding balances from projects implemented by the agency.
Verna Roz Taperla, DILG 12 project development management unit financial analyst, said Wednesday the unliquidated balances were mainly from the agency's fund releases for locally funded programs over a six year period, or from 2013 to 2018.
Taperla 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.
The funds 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 an interview.
Based on data released by the PDMU as of Feb. 26, the municipality of Kabacan in North Cotabato posted the biggest unliquidated balance with PHP23 million, followed by President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat with PHP20.4 million, and the North Cotabato town of M'lang with PHP19.5 million.
Josephine Leysa, DILG Region 12 director, said they expect the LGUs to exert their best effort to achieve 100 percent liquidation rate.
Leysa 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.
Source: Philippines News Agency