Labella admin claps back at critics: Audit score proves good governance

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 09,2021 - 02:30 PM
Labella

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government clapped back at its critics following the release of an Unmodified Audit Opinion from the Commission on Audit (COA) for the first time in the last 80 years.

According to City Accountant Jerome Ornopia, the Unmodified Audit Opinion is the highest score that the COA can give to a local government unit (LGU), which proved to present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position and its financial performance, its cash flows, and its comparison of budget and actual amounts for the year then ended in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

Ornopia said they welcomed the opinion of COA as this was an acknowledgment of the efforts of the city to be transparent and to hold accountability for every transaction by the city government especially in a crisis like the pandemic.

“It is also a manifestation of sound fiscal management for Cebu City. The opinion of COA means that in all financial respects, the financial performance of the city is excellent,” said the city accountant.

City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. said the administration felt vindicated that after a year of being criticized by the opposing party over expenses in the pandemic, the city had proven them “wrong” through the COA report.

It can be remembered that opposition councilors have questioned the expenses for the COVID-19 response and almost refused to pass the annual budget until the breakdown of the expenses was reported to the City Council.

Furthermore, many critics have questioned certain expenses including alleged overpriced purchases on sacks of rice, canned goods, and others.

“Ang natan-awan gyod sa COA nga wala man miy binuang nga gihimo. Hinuon nakasabot ra mi sa ilaha kay wala man sad silay lingaw ato nga time kay pandemic man to. Amo lang unta mas dali sila moissue og adverse opinion namo nga wala sila nag audit kay sa COA, i-audit unta mi nila,” said Casas.

(The COA saw that the city government did enot do any hanky panky. But we understand them (the critics) because maybe they did not have anything to do then at the time of the pandemic. On our part, it would be better for them (the critics) to audit us because they would quickly an adverse opinion even without auditing us unlike what COA would do.)

For the city administrator, the COA report is also an assurance to the public who may have been misled by the critics to believe that the city has been “corrupt” or “anomalous.”

He said the city government would continue to be transparent to the public and documents would be available through freedom of information.

“The city is on good hands. Kaning COA lang nga unmodified report kung pwede lang, pero di man pwede, isagpa sa katong mga nagsigeg bira namo,” he said.

(The city is on good hands. This unmodified report of COA if we could, we would like to slap this on the faces of those critics.)

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TAGS: City Administrator Floro Casas Jr., COA, Labella, Ornopia, unmodified audit opinion

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