De Lima seeks probe into DOTr’s underutilization of funds, project delays


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima urged Congress to investigate the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) deficient disbursement of its allocated aid funds under the Bayanihan 2 Act, as well as other delays in its project implementation.

In filing Senate Resolution (SR) No. 884, De Lima, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, underscored the need to hold officials accountable for said deficiencies and delays.

The 2020 Commission on Audit (COA) report on the DOTr noted several deficiencies, delays, and irregularities in DOTR project implementation.

“The underutilization of DOTr’s aid funds not only hindered its optimum use towards much needed programs, it also immobilized already scarce funds which could have been appropriated towards the health and education sectors especially in this time of pandemic,” she said.

“Concerned offices and officials must therefore be enjoined to explain their failure to perform their mandates,” she added.

Aside from DOTr’s deficient disbursement of allocated funds under the Bayanihan 2 Act, the report revealed that there was delay in 15 DOTr Foreign Assisted Projects (FAPs) for 2020 with an aggregate cost of ₱1,312,605,770,000, as well as misstatements in financial statements.

The report likewise highlighted the agency’s failure to deliver license plates despite acquiring ₱2,159,036,340 amount of funds from registrants and failure of several regional offices of the LTO Disposal Committee to dispose 2,595 units of Impounded Motor Vehicle (IMV), which prevented the agency from earning more revenues.

The lady Senator from Bicol said the Congress must inquire into the gaps in existing laws that cause delay in public service.

“It is also imperative that DOTr’s policies are looked into to ascertain whether existing bureaucracies in its system hamper the performance of duties,” she said.

“There should be no room for ineptitude and gross negligence in government service, especially at a time when such services are essential to the very survival of our citizens,” she added. (30)

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