The Commission on Audit has cited the Negros Occidental provincial government for failure to implement P314,521,487 in projects “depriving the intended beneficiaries of the benefits and services” they should have derived from them.
The COA annual audit report for Negros Occidental for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018 said 65 projects under the 20 percent Provincial Development Fund with total appropriations of P201,288,532 remained unimplemented.
It recommended that the Provincial Planning and Development Office monitor and evaluate such priority development projects, and ensure that they are implemented.
Provincial Budget Officer Jose Percival Salado said the slow implementation needs to be addressed because the COA requires that at least 70 percent of a project for the year must be paid up as of September 30.
The COA report also said 28 irrigation projects with an aggregate cost of P113,232,955 implemented from 2012 to 2016 remained uncompleted as of Dec. 31, 2018 depriving the intended rice farmer beneficiaries of their benefits had they become operational.
It recommended that the provincial government direct the contractors, especiallythose with more than 50 percent accomplishments to finish the projects within a new agreed time.
The COA also recommended that the provincial government terminate the contracts of contractors who abandoned the projects without giving valid reasons and possibly issue a blacklist order disqualifying the erring contractors from participating in the bidding of all government projects.
Salado said former Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. had ordered such projects stopped and investigated.
This was after it was discovered that the projects started during the term of former provincial agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan could not produce water because of lack of road right of way, he said.*
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