Citizens, local execs ask CoA to clarify rules on disaster spending

Local executives in disaster-stricken areas are hesitant to spend their disaster risk reduction management fund for fear they may get called out by the Commission on Audit.

This was the main takeaway from the dialogue held between the Center for Community Journalism and Development and the Commission on Audit, as facilitated by the Citizen Participatory Audit team of ANSA-EAP.

The dialogue held November 6, 2015 at La Breza Hotel in Quezon City was part of CCJD’s multi-stakeholder review of Republic Act 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

Vien Suerte Cortez, the former project manager of the CPA team, gave an overview of the CPA: Its mandate, its initial gains, and its overall direction. She highlighted that the next phase of the CPA would zero in on the audit of DRR-related initiatives in the province of Albay and the city of Tuguegarao.

CoA's Ivy Lademora of the CPA Project Management Team gave the CoA 101 presentation, talking about the commission's history, mandate and priority programs.

Girlie Sevilla Alvarez, program coordinator of the CCJD, said the dialogue was a good start in establishing a relationship with the supreme audit institution in the context of transparency in spending funds allotted for preparing for and responding to disasters.

The CCJD invited civil society representatives in its network to raise its concerns to CoA. The commission said it took note of the observations and would provide answers at a later time.