Malabon city gov’t hit over delayed disaster mgt projects

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State auditors scored the Malabon city government over its delayed implementation of projects for disaster preparedness and response in 2015.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said a review of the Annual Work and Financial Plan as well as the Accomplishment Report on the utilization of the Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Fund showed that the programmed projects were implemented later than the scheduled dates.

Auditors said the following projects scheduled for implementation on the first and second quarters of 2015 were implemented only on the third and fourth quarters of the year – trainings and seminars, procurement of disaster response and rescue equipment, as well as procurement of the CCTV cameras, portable radio transceivers and base radio for emergency monitoring and response.

The auditors said the delayed implementation of the projects defeated the purpose of the fund to effectively manage the risks of a disaster or natural calamity.

“Since the City is prone to flash floods and other emergencies caused by typhoons and other natural and man-made calamities which occur mostly in the middle of the year, project implementation beyond scheduled timeframes particularly trainings and seminars on the city’s preparedness in different hazards and risks, does not serve the purpose of efficiently managing all types of emergencies,” the auditors said.

The COA urged the city mayor Antolin Oreta III to implement as scheduled the programmed projects meant to build the local government unit’s capacity to efficiently manage all types of emergencies, as well as to achieve orderly transition from response to sustained recovery which was the very purpose for the creation of the disaster risk reduction and management fund.

The fund, or 70 percent of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF), may be utilized to procure early warning systems, preparedness equipment and other equipage for floods, earthquake, volcanic eruptions, landslide and other natural and man-made calamities, according to the joint memorandum circular of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

The LDRRMF should be used for programs intended for disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, and disaster rehabilitation and recovery, the circular stated.