THE Commission on Audit (CoA) said the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) failed to use P53.3 million worth of funds from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Energy (DoE).

According to its annual audit report in 2018, BFP only utilized P58,659.88 from the P2 million funds from DoE. On the other hand, the BFP only used P6 million out of the P44 million provided by the DILG.

“It may be recalled that DoE has been requesting for the liquidation or refund of the funds in its letter dated Dec. 6, 2016 but to date the same has not yet been acted upon,” according to the report.

CoA added, “…The funds from DILG intended for National 911 for the conduct of training of BFP-EMS (Emergency Medical Services) remained unexpended.”

It also reported that BFP said the funds received from DoE and DILG will be used for the continuation of delayed projects they were intended for.

“Management commented that funds received from DoE will be used for the continuation of the project. On the other hand, projects for the fund transfer from DILG for the National 911 Program are on-going,” the state auditors said.

The auditing agency recommended that BFP “immediately refund to DoE the amount of P1.94 million which remained unutilized since May 2017.”

The state auditors also called out BFP for failing to achieve its goal of establishing at least one fire station in every province, city, and municipality.

“Records of Infrastructure Section- Logistics and Engineering Division of BFP-NHQ show that as of Dec. 31, 2018 there were 133 uncompleted construction of fire stations nationwide,” CoA said. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras