Deposit whale shark fees daily, auditors remind Oslob town

GOVERNMENT auditors reminded Oslob’s officials to deposit promptly the town’s earnings from whale shark watching activities, which averaged P1.2 million a day last year.

In their 2017 audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) pointed out that it sometimes took local officials 18 days, when the collections had amounted to more than P20 million, before they deposited the proceeds in an authorized government depository bank.

With the delays, the town risked losing the amounts due to fire, theft or misuse, auditors said. These delays also violated item 33(a) of the rules spelled out in the Revised Cash Examination Manual.

Under that item, the local treasurer or cashier needs to deposit all collections on the day these are received or the day after that, at the latest.

In the exit conference, COA reported, the Oslob municipal treasurer explained that they had to wait for the release of 60 percent of proceeds to the Oslob fishermen’s association and had to wait for the checks to clear. The audit report also quoted the treasurer as saying that the town’s staff would find it too difficult to deposit their collections daily.

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), town officials also told COA, has offered to pick up their collections daily, provided that the town moves its deposits to that bank.

From January to November 2017, the whale shark watching attraction made an average of P1.2 million a day, but COA observed that these were not always deposited intact.

At least twice in March and April 2017, the collections had reached P23,622,286.45 before these were deposited.

COA also observed that some of the deposits were private checks. At least twice, the municipal treasurer deposited checks that amounted to P406,406.46.

COA told the town officials there was no need to wait for the release and encashment of the check payments for the fishermen’s association, because the latter had its own bank account and would have to be responsible for depositing its share of the collections. (SCG of Super Balita)

Source: Local News

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