COA: Cebu province spent P3.2M in cash aid to LSIs
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu Provincial Government spent around P3.2 million as financial assistance to Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, state auditors reported.
The Commission on Audit (COA) recently released its 116-page 2020 Annual Audit Report for the Province of Cebu.
The state auditing body revealed that the Capitol had shelled P3,219,925 in cash aid to a total of 1,010 residents from Cebu province who became LSIs when the COVID-19 outbreak led to stringent lockdowns and travel restrictions in the previous year.
“The LSIs constitute among others, working students from the Province of Cebu but were stranded outside of Cebu, students with displaced parents, displaced workers, and those applying for work in LGUs (local government units) outside of Cebu,” portions of the report stated.
Cebu province was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from March to June 2020.
In the meantime, COA gave the Capitol the highest audit rating for the fiscal year 2020.
State auditors rendered an ‘unqualified opinion’ on Cebu province’s presentation of financial statements as of December 31, 2020.
“In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Province of Cebu as of December 31, 2020, 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 (IPSASs),” said Maria Daisy Bercede, supervising auditor.
COA flagged a total of 14 transactions the Capitol entered into during 2020 but most of these were of procedural or technical in nature.
These included the failure for Capitol executives to submit additional documents as justification for the procurement of goods and services through the Emergency Procurement under the Bayanihan Act that amounted to P138, 297, 365.51, and irreconcilable financial records between various departments.
On the other hand, the state auditing body also noted that the provincial government was able to address 16 of the 37 recommendations they made in 2019.
Among these were the need to review the 93-1 Land Swap Deal they made with the Cebu City Government, and the sale of the controversial Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) to the Mandaue City Government.
COA also noted that the Capitol needs to take actions on audit disallowances and suspensions totalling ₱126,225,993.07 and ₱166,100.00 that remained unsettled as of December 31, 2020.
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