The Audit Commission reported on the implementation of the solid waste management program of the popular tourist destination of Boracay Island.
State auditors raised serious questions about the implementation of the SWMP after conducting a special audit on the collection and use of service charges for garbage collection for commercial establishments and environmental charges and d admission (EAF) for tourists visiting Boracay.
Released last week, the special audit report raised various observations which included the lack of action in the issuance and accounting of EAF cash vouchers and their collection; lack of transparency in the awarding of garbage transport contracts; non-execution of environmental projects and non-coverage of loyalty obligations for two responsible agents, among other audit problems.
The special audit was carried out on the municipality of Malay, Aklan which has jurisdiction over the famous island of Boracay.
It will be recalled that the tourist paradise was closed in 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte to avoid environmental degradation, including ineffective solid waste management programs, on the island.
In its report, the COA said the Malaysian municipal government lacks “control measures” in the issuance and accounting of EAF tickets that are issued to tourists arriving at Caticlan Pier.
This resulted in the unreported collection of 1.08 million pula from 2015 to 2017.
“EAF receipts worth P 1.71 million, or 23 3,000, were reported twice, thus overestimating the reported amount of collections by such an amount,” the audit report said.
Audit reviewers also reported a sub-collection of P 407,400 and unpaid service charges for garbage collection totaling P 1.41 million in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
A total of 224 business establishments were blamed for the unpaid service charges.
COA also questioned the municipality for operating private establishments in the collection, saying this resulted in a delay in paying the fees.
“Funds in the amount of 169.72 million pesos have been disbursed for the wages and salaries of contract workers, including the cost of garbage transport services, which has not been an effective strategy to resolve the problem. solid waste problem that ultimately led to the closure of Boracay Island, ”COA said.
It was noted that out of the 33 projects under the SWP, 18 projects worth 23.06 million pesos were not implemented while the completion of eight projects costing 17 , 19 million pesos was delayed.
COA also expressed serious concerns about the “transparency and fairness” of the awarding of contracts of 58.22 million pesos for transport services.
There was no clear reason for the award of three transport contracts worth 35.83 million pesos which were concluded on “negotiated terms”.
The auditors stated that “the eligibility and other documentary requirements justifying the desirability of the award of transport contracts” as provided for by the law on public procurement were not submitted by Malaysia.
In response to the audit observations, the municipality cited damage from Typhoons Ursula for failing to submit the required documentation.
Local authorities have also pledged to abide by COA recommendations on hiring contract workers. They also committed to perform a detailed accounting review of the AEP and present the correct account balance.
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