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COA Finds P58.6-Million Anomaly in Kawit, Cavite’s COVID-19 Relief Goods Distribution

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In a shocking revelation, the Commission on Audit (COA) has found irregularities in the manner of recording and reporting the purchase and distribution of welfare goods by the Municipality of Kawit, Cavite under the administration of Mayor Angelo Aguinaldo.

The total amount in question is a staggering P58,663,679.99, according to a COA Report. See below the copy of the report.

The COA Report states that the accounting practices of LGU Kawit were not in accordance with COA Circular Nos. 2014-002 and 2015-009, thereby hindering the proper accounting of receipts, issuances, and balances of the welfare goods.

According to COA Circular No. 2014-002, all items taken up in the books under equipment and reclassified into Property Outlay should be accounted for upon receipt by the Supplies Inventory Division/Unit/Section (SID/S/IU/S), supported with a Requisition Issue Slip (RIS) and taken up under the appropriate budget accounts.

For the calendar year 2020, the Municipality of Kawit procured relief goods and other supplies and materials for the constituents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, totaling P58,683,667.99.

However, COA discovered that the costs of relief goods and other supplies and materials were recorded as outright expenses to either Other Supplies and Materials Expense (Account No. 5-02-03-990) or Welfare Goods Expenses (Account No. 5-02-03-060), instead of recording them under the inventory account, Welfare Goods for Distribution (Account No. 1-04-02-020).

This practice of recording the cost of welfare goods as an outright expense upon purchase was not in accordance with the aforesaid COA Circulars and sound accounting practice because it did not recognize the cost of inventory items as assets before recording them as an expense upon issuance/distribution, COA said.

An interview with the Municipal Accounting Office revealed that neither the Municipal General Services Office (MGSO) nor Municipal Social Worker and Development Office (MSWDO) submitted the Report on Supplies and Materials Issued (RSMI), which would support the issuances of the purchased relief goods for distribution, COA revealed.

Furthermore, the audit of pertinent Disbursement Vouchers and supporting documents disclosed the absence of lists of recipients or summary of households per Barangay, schedule of distributions of relief goods, and content of food packs.

“Thus, it could not be determined if the relief goods were completely distributed to the constituents,” lamented COA.

The COA Report concludes that the proper recording of the receipts, issuances, and balances of the welfare goods purchased was not facilitated due to these deficiencies.

“This raises serious concerns about the transparency and accountability of the Municipality of Kawit in handling public funds, especially during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” COA stated.

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