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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

A REPRESENTATIVE from the Legacy Group of Companies will arrive in Bacolod and Iloilo cities to confer with investors following the closure of 10 rural banks affiliated with the company.

 

An Iloilo City-based investor of Legacy, who asked to be identified only as Lady for the meantime, said an unnamed lawyer representing the company will arrive in Iloilo December 20.

 

Lady, who claimed to have invested more than P15 million in Legacy, said they are anxious to find out the real status of their investments after the rural banks were put under receivership of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC).

 

Lady said she and other investors have been trying to reach Mayor Celso delos Angeles of Sto. Domingo, Albay, who founded Legacy.

 

“We just want to be clarified if our investments are still there and if we can pull them out. Our group is trying to know if what will be the bargaining this Saturday. We are also asking the help of the government in this matter,” Lady said in a text message.

 

The investor said delos Angeles sent a text message to their vice president assuring them that their capital will be returned.

 

Lady also forwarded to The Daily Guardian a text message reportedly sent by delos Angeles to his investors in the country.

 

The mayor said the “global financial crisis and persecution from government regulators brought Legacy and its banks to its knees.”

 

Delos Angeles said he has divested his interest in Legacy after he won as mayor.

 

He added the investors’ money went to the bank clients and marketing program of the company and he should not be blamed for what happened.

 

“I will still work to ensure that you get your principal back over time,” delos Angeles said.

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

ONE of the search and rescue vessels (SARV) of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) needed rescuing after it suffered engine trouble amidst giant waves off the coast of Antique Wednesday. 

 

BRP Davao del Norte (SARV 3504) lost contact Wednesday morning after it helped rescue the crew of cargo vessel M/V Ma. Lourdes which sank three miles off Bisay Island in Caluya, Antique.

 

M/V Lourdes, which was loaded with more or less 22,000 bags of cement from Iligan City, was en route to San Jose, Romblon when it was battered by big waves.

 

BRP Davao del Norte, which is based in Romblon Island, has 12 crewmembers, according to Commander Harold Jarder, PCG-Iloilo station chief.

 

Army air assets and Navy ships helped search for Davao del Norte. It was later found near Boracay Island following an aerial survey by the Air Force.

 

Jarder said Davao del Norte’s crew are safe and sound while the ship was brought to Lipata port in Culasi, Antique.

 

Jarder said the ship suffered power failure after it was battered by big waves.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

AFTER the hospitals equipment scam, the Iloilo Sangguniang Panlalawigan is set to investigate the purchase of plants for the landscaping of the Iloilo Rehabilitation Center façade in Pototan, Iloilo after the Commission on Audit (COA) found alleged irregularities in the transaction.

 

Vice Governor Rolex Suplico said they will base their investigation on the COA Audit Observation Memorandum dated November 4, 2008.

 

The memorandum signed by Haydee Pasuelo, COA audit team leader, and Maria Glenda Lim, COA regional cluster director, covers the purchase of landscaping plants worth P144,750.

 

The purchase was requested by the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) headed by Ildefonso Toledo while the supplier was Cleafar Enterprises.

 

The COA memorandum found out that the purchase order (PO) for the landscaping plants was “paid in full despite the incomplete delivery in the amount of P127,950.”

 

COA inspection of the deliveries of the plants conducted October 27, 2008 and November 4, 2008 showed there was partial delivery amounting to P16,800 only.

 

But per acceptance and inspection report (AIR) from the PAO, there was complete delivery February 14, 2008.

 

The COA said Toledo confirmed there was indeed incomplete delivery because the IRC area to be planted with the 150 square feet of Bermuda grass, 200 sq ft of Carabao grass and other ornamental plants was not yet ready.

 

“The area has yet to be filled with garden soil. All other plants included in the PO were also not delivered. It appears that there was an advance payment to the supplier in the amount of P127,950,” COA observed.

 

Section 88 of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines strictly prohibits advance payments on government deals unless the goods and/or services were fully delivered by the supplier.

 

While the transaction happened in 2008, the budget was taken from the reenacted 2007 budget of the PAO for agricultural products worth P1.5 million.

 

The COA also found out in the bidding documents that owner of the winning supplier, Cleafar Enterprises, is a certain Ma. Cecilia Buenconsejo with business address at Brgy. Inagdangan Norte, Zarraga, Iloilo.

 

But in the delivery paper and receipt of payment, charge invoice and official receipt, the proprietor of Cleafar was identified as Jose Benjamin Pama with office address at Commission Civil Street, Jaro, Iloilo City.

 

Suplico said the discrepancies in the proprietorship and business address of the winning bidder “smells fishy.”

 

“Why is it that the owner and business address of the supplier in the bidding documents were different from the delivery and acceptance papers? We must find out what happened. And where are the rest of the undelivered items?” Suplico said.

 

The vice governor, who is at odds with his uncle Governor Niel Tupas Sr., also questioned the proposed landscaping of the IRC.

 

“What we need at the IRC are barbed wires, not ferns, grasses and ornamental plants. It would have been better if they bought vegetable seedlings for the inmates to plant and eat,” he added.

 

COA has issued a notice of disallowance on the landscaping plants transactions because of the incomplete delivery.

 

Among those cited as liable are General Services Office chief Ramie Salcedo and Provincial Administrator Manuel Mejorada for certifying that the delivery was complete; PAO chief Toledo for certifying that the items delivered conformed to the specifications and quantity stated in the purchase order; Governor Niel Tupas Sr. for approving the deal; Buenconsejo as payee; and Danny Baldemor and Rosario Catalan.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

WHO is at fault for the delay in the discussion on the financial assistance for barangay volunteer workers in the province of Iloilo?

 

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan was supposed to discuss during its session Monday the financial aid for more or less 10,000 barangay volunteers worth P23 million but the matter was not included in its calendar. Each volunteer will receive P2,000 under the aid package.

 

Governor Niel Tupas Sr. submitted a supplemental budget for the financial aid last week and he expected the SP’s committee on appropriations chaired by Vice Governor Rolex Suplico to act and approve the measure.

 

Suplico said he was not able to act on the supplemental budget because of the non-submission of the master list of barangay-based volunteers.

 

The vice governor said he needed the data to determine who will receive the financial aid given to volunteer workers annually.

 

But Marina Imperial, president of the province-wide Federation of Barangay Health Workers, said in a radio interview that she and other volunteer workers brought to Suplico’s office the thick folders containing the master list of volunteers Friday last week.

 

“But he declined to receive the documents,” Imperial told Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo.

 

Imperial’s statement was backed by Edith Judicpa, barangay health worker from Pavia.

 

Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel “Boy” Mejorada was quick to chastise Suplico for “distorting the truth” and “deliberately prolonging the anxiety” of these volunteers.

 

“This is a clear case of foot dragging as Suplico and his allies are looking for lame excuses not to approve the honorarium for the volunteers,” Mejorada said. “The big lie being peddled by Suplico was uncovered.”

 

Mejorada said Suplico and his allies could have granted the appropriation for the honorarium when the Sanggunian approved Appropriation Ordinance No. 2008-06 containing the 2008 annual budget.

 

Suplico clarified the issue with The Daily Guardian to dispel insinuations that he lied on the real reason why the approval of the supplemental budget was stalled.

 

The vice governor said while it is true that Imperial showed him the list last week, he returned the same for various reasons.

 

“There is only one list and I don’t want to lose it. The keeper of that list by law is the Provincial Health Office (PHO) which has jurisdiction over the barangay health workers. The PHO has to clean the list of those who died, those who left the country, those who ceased to be BHWs and those who are BHWs while at the same time are barangay service point officers, day care workers and barangay nutrition scholars,” he said.

 

Suplico said the PHO has to encode the list in a form that may be attached to the appropriation ordinance.

 

“As of noontime Wednesday, the PHO was still busy cleaning up the lost together with the officers of the BHW provincial federation. The allegation that I lied about the real reason for the delay in the approval of the financial aid is a malicious insinuation. It is a lie,” Suplico said.

 

The SP will again discuss the financial aid during its special session Friday.

 

Suplico said they will attach conditions to the appropriations ordinance especially the manner by which the aid will be released.

 

“We want the aid to be released in the towns, not here at the Capitol to avoid politicking and additional expenses on the part of the workers. Although we expect the governor to repeat what he did last year by vetoing the conditions then release the funds before we could override the veto,” Suplico said.

 

Mejorada said the volunteer workers prefer to get their financial aid at the Capitol “so they can go shopping after getting their allowance.”

 

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