Later, the ROA evolved rapidly into many names and forms. It became Allotment and Obligation Slip (ALOBS) in the advent of NGAS Manual thru COA Circular 2002-003 dated 20 June 2002. On 28 February 2005, COA issued Circular No.2005-001 introducing Obligation Slip (OS) to replace ALOBS. This form was again immediately replaced by the Obligation Request (ObR) that we currently use to date by virtue of COA Circular 2006-002 dated 21 January 2006.
A clear stipulation that obligation is required for every requisition may be found at NGAS Manual Volume I Chapter 7 Section 116 (d) to wit:
Certification on Allotment and Obligation Slip (ALOBS) – Every PR must be accompanied by an ALOBS showing the certification of the local budget officer and the local accountant, that an appropriation therefore exists; and that the estimated amount of such expenditure has been obligated. The Local Treasurer shall certify as to cash availability in the purchase request.
This appears to be in agreement with Sec.360 of RA 7160 and it follows that before any procurement is undertaken, an obligation is a must, and the amount to reflect is the estimated amount of expenditure. This was made in reference to ALOBS. This means, by the time this was issued, the consideration was the requesting official, the budget officer, and accountant were signatories. When the ALOBS was replaced by COA’s issuance of OS form, the column for “Allotment Class” was removed. The Chief Accountant’s signature box was removed. The Budget Officer’s certification as to ‘existence of available appropriations’ was replaced by ‘certification that appropriation/allotment was available and obligated for the purpose as indicated’. The reason behind is the rationale of COA Circular 2005-001:
This circular defines the roles and functions of the Heads of Budget or its equivalent in the certification as to the availability of funds and obligations on contracts/purchase orders and all claims against the government agencies. For purposes of this circular, “funds” is construed to mean appropriations/allotments/budget.
Please take note that when the COA issued this circular, R.A. 9184 was already in effect two (2) years after if was enacted. Not only form was modified but also the functions of the Budget Officer. Before, the ALOBS contained the signature of the Chief Accountant as to ‘obligation of allotment’. In the OS, the Budget Officer (or its equivalent) was then certifying as to the obligation (accomplished by Chief Accountant in the ALOBS) in addition to existence of appropriation. In short, the Chief Accountant was removed from the ALOBS because the “obligation for allotment” was now tasked to the Budget Officer. It was also worthy to note that the amount in the OS was now defined as “amount of obligation/adjustment” (from the original definition of amount was “estimated amount of expenditure” in the ALOBS). The idea of adjustment in case of discrepancy was now emerging as an issue.
Still under the NGAS, the Head of the Budget Unit or its equivalent shall also maintain the registries of funds/ appropriations/ allotments and obligations/utilization and shall certify on their availability while the Head of Accounting Unit shall keep the records and certify on the availability of cash. The Circular in effect also introduced OS and DV as applicable forms for LGUs. The certification of the Chief Accountant should still be there, somewhere.