BFAR scored over P135-M idle funds

The Commission on Audit (CoA) has chided the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for failing to utilize the P135.39-million Wildlife Management Fund (WMF).

In its 2017 annual audit report, CoA noted the fund that included collections since 2013 for the WMF intended to finance the rehabilitation of habitats affected by violations of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act and support scientific research and monitoring activities remained unutilized.

CoA said the subsidiary ledger of the Cash-Treasury/Agency Deposit, Special Account showed the funds “remained intact and unutilized since Calendar Year 2013” because of lack of guidelines for implementations and non-preparation of programs and activities.

The audit agency said failure to use the fund deprived beneficiaries, especially the fisherfolk and coastal communities, from enjoying the benefits the program was meant to provide.

It noted that last 6 to 11 February 2018, the National Aquatic Wildlife Management Committee had already conducted a forum workshop to provide knowledge on fund utilization and promulgation of implementing guidelines of the approved programs or activities.

Despite participation by representatives from BFAR Central Office divisions in the workshop, CoA noted no implementing guidelines and approved programs/activities for the beneficiaries were submitted.

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