Starting 2018, the OVP has been assisting several LGUs after Congress allotted funds for its anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay.
In a recent report—released together with the unqualified opinion that was granted to the OVP, the highest rating any agency may receive from state auditors—COA took note of the submission of requirements by the concerned LGUs as well as their selection.
We accept COA’s reminder to ensure that all requirements should be submitted. Fortunately, these LGUs still have until December 31, 2019 to comply, as specified in their Memorandum of Agreement with the OVP, which COA has likewise noted. Nevertheless, the OVP continues to remind the LGU recipients of their obligations. The office has also formed a Project Management Unit early this year, whose responsibilities include compiling the documentary requirements from the LGUs.
We also wish to clarify that the requesting LGUs were selected through a set of criteria that considers their localities’ needs or their record of good governance. COA has been provided with the explanation for how each of these areas has passed the criteria, in response to their comment. Additionally, as observed by COA, we continue our efforts in gaining a deeper understanding of the circumstances in the localities—which include some of the farthest and poorest areas in the country—as well as in validating the necessity and implementation of the LGUs’ proposed projects.
One example of the projects supported under this is the Mental Health Facility that was built in San Remigio, a far-flung municipality in Cebu. After the onset of Typhoon Yolanda, mental health patients were found to be chained or locked up inside their houses because there is no available facility to provide the proper medical attention that they needed. With the help of different stakeholders, we hope the facility will be the center of a comprehensive and community-based mental health program in San Remigio.
Under the leadership of Vice President Leni Robredo, the OVP is committed not only to abiding by the rules set by oversight agencies, but by its own internal controls—in a bid to implement a more prudent spending of government funds. Rest assured that the office will continuously improve on its processes, in order to better serve the Filipino people.