HUDCC officials told: Liquidate Bangon Marawi cash advances

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    GOVERNMENT auditors have demanded that officials of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) submit full liquidation of cash advances drawn from the funds of Task Force Bangon Marawi, including sums drawn dating back to 2018.

    According to the 2019 audit report released last August 25, total unliquidated cash advances as of yearend 2019 stood at P2.414 million.

    The task force was created on October 27, 2017 through Administrative Order No. 9 issued by President Duterte and received P500 million from the Office of the President as funding for operational expenses. Official transfer of the fund was undertaken through a memorandum of agreement dated April 13, 2018.

    Based on records, the oldest cash advances were granted on July 12, 2018 for procurement of “various supplies and materials for a workshop on citizen engagement for stronger Marawi” for P142,500; and another for P325,000 “for hotel accommodation in Cagayan de Oro City and honorarium of speakers” approved on July 16, 2018.

    These were supposed to be liquidated by August 16 and 21, 2018, respectively, but more than 475 days after the deadline there have been no submission of documents on how the money was used or whether the objective was attained.

    From May 16 and October 22, 2019, there were 10 more cash advances totaling P1,947,500 granted to different accountable officers for “travel expenses” of Task Force Bangon Marawi officials and staff.

    The last date for liquidation was on November 30, 2019 but there was zero compliance by HUDCC officials.

    Auditors said the disregard of liquidation deadlines was a violation of COA Circular No. 97-002 which requires completion of all liquidations by the end of the fiscal year.