THE Commission on Audit (CoA) has flagged the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for the poor implementation of a P12-billion school building project dubbed as “Matuwid Na Daan Sa Silid Aralan.”

According to the annual audit report, only 6,471 classrooms were completed and the remaining 457 classrooms were still either under construction or at procurement and planning stage.

“Verification disclosed that there were 457 classrooms with total project cost of P714.496 million, or 6.6 percent of the total 6,928 classrooms set to be finished as of December 31, 2017 that are still incomplete based on the Monitoring Report dated January 31, 2019,” said COA.

“Likewise, there was no written agreement for extension of the construction of these classrooms between PAGCOR and the implementing agencies,” it added.

State auditors also noted that there were anomalies in the construction of 211 classrooms with a project cost of P393.450 million.

The report showed some of these classrooms were not yet completed but reported as 100% complete in status report. There were also non-existent school buildings included in the record and cases where construction has not yet started but public bidding was already conducted prior months ago and where construction was already abandoned.

The auditing agency said PAGCOR commented that it will “conduct necessary investigation to determine whether the implementing agencies were remiss or negligent in the implementation of the project and initiate sanctions, if warranted.”

CoA added that P1.189 billion funds released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Education (DepEd) remained unliquidated as of Dec. 31.

In the report, state auditors said DepEd has yet to respond to the demand for the return for the remaining unused funds of P441 million. Meanwhile, the DPWH already signified its intention to return the unused P747.669 million in funds.

However, CoA said the DPWH requested from PAGCOR “the approval of additional requirements needed to complete those classrooms that are still under/on-going construction.” — V.A.C. Ferreras