June 24, 2024
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Unmarked vehicles can get local government units in trouble.
In Mountain Province, the Commission on Audit called out four towns and the provincial government for using vehicles that do not bear marks to indicate that these are for official business use.
The COA called the attention of the provincial government for using 17 vehicles that do not bear the label, “For Official Use Only” and are using private and temporary license plates and conduction stickers.
State auditors said the vehicles were not converted to red license plates even if these were acquired or donated to the provincial government years ago.
The audit team said it found most of the vehicles were not parked at the motor pool or within the premises of the provincial government offices during the weekends or when these are not being used.
The report added the use of government-owned cars that do not bear red license plates and are not properly labelled violates the Manual on Audit for Fuel Consumption of Government Vehicles and those using unmarked vehicles should pay the related expenses out of their personal funds.
Aside from the provincial government, the COA also took exception to the use by the municipal government of Bauko of 13 vehicles, worth P16.5 million, that are not marked, “For Official Use Only” although six of which bear the logo of the local government and the office that using the vehicles.
In Besao, the local government was found to be using four vehicles, worth P8.8M, that are not officially marked and do not bear the name of the municipality.
The same observations were noted in Sadanga, which uses two unmarked vehicles and do not bear the town’s logo and Tadian, which uses eight government cars, worth P8.3M, and are not labelled, “For Official Use Only”.
“The absence of proper markings of the municipalities’ vehicles contravenes the provision of COA circulars, which, if not complied, may result in unauthorized use or improper use of the vehicles or (these) may not be used strictly or exclusively for official business,” the COA report stated.
In Natonin, the COA also flagged the issuance of fuel to private-owned vehicles detailed at various offices of the local government.
The report found of the 10,797 liters of fuel the local government consumed last year, 1,982.50 liters were issued to private cars, which is contrary to the circular that provides that disbursement vouchers for fuel consumption should be allowed only for vehicles that bear red license plates and are plainly marked for official uses.
“The issuance of fuel to privately- owned vehicles is not only contrary to the COA (rules) but also poses risk in the use of fuels for personal gains at the loss of the municipality. Excessive and unnecessary expenditures are disallowable in audit,” the COA said.
State auditors said they recommended and the LGUs agreed to adhere to COA rules on the use of government-owned vehicles. – Jane B. Cadalig