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Another anomaly rocks Iloilo Capitol

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

ANOTHER transaction in the Iloilo provincial government was stalled due to anomalies in the bidding process.

The Commission on Audit (CoA) in a letter dated October 20, 2009 returned the disbursement papers for payment of various equipment supplied to the Iloilo Provincial Hospital (IPH) in Pototan, Iloilo as the bidding was purportedly manipulated.

The letter was sent to the office of Governor Niel D. Tupas Sr. and Provincial Accountant Lyd P. Tupas.

Disbursement Voucher No. 300-09-10-950 dated October 6, 2009 covers the payment for computer equipment to the IPH amounting to more or less P250,000.

According to the audit agency, the equipment were already delivered on November 3, 2008 even before the public bidding was conducted on November 26, 2008. The participating bidders were Cyber Link Compu Sales and Strides PEF Enterprises.

The delivery before the bidding was supported by Delivery Receipt (DR) No. 5459 dated November 3, 2008. The CoA’s audit team also confirmed that the items were already delivered during a visit at the IPH on January 19, 2009.

The purchase was covered by the Purchase Order No. IPH-178 dated December 15, 2008 and was received by the supplier on January 19, 2009. The delivery term is 15 calendar days after received of the approved PO.

But upon verification of the disbursement voucher and other supporting papers, the audit agency found out that another DR No. 5481 dated February 4, 2009 was prepared to replace DR No. 5459 dated November 3, 2008.

“Fourteen (14) of the items stated in the two DRs are exactly the same as to specifications and serial numbers. It can be presumed that the issuance of a new DR was resorted to by the persons liable to show that proper bidding procedures were followed. Since there is already a winner prior to the actual conduct of bidding, then credence could not be given to the public bidding conducted,” the CoA said.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Commission on Audit (COA) stopped three fund releases of the executive department of the Iloilo provincial government for lack of approval by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and other requirements.

These releases involved financial aids to a group of non-government organizations (NGOs) and two multipurpose cooperatives in Iloilo.

The audit body was able to sift out the questionable releases because of the pre-auditing procedure conducted on all provincial capitol transactions.

In a letter to Governor Niel Tupas Sr., Haydee O. Pasuelo, COA state auditor 4 based in Iloilo, returned Disbursement Voucher No. 100-09-09-12615 dated August 15, 2009 for the release of P500,000 to the Iloilo Coalition of Non-Government Organizations and Peoples’ Organizations (ICON).

Pasuelo said in her September 16, 2009 letter that the disbursement papers released by the Office of the Governor bore the following violations and deficiencies:

–         lack of proof that the project to be implemented by the NGO/PO is made public via newspapers, agency websites, bulletin boards and the like, at least three months prior to the target date of commencement of the identified projects;

–         non-submission of accreditation of the NGO/PO as project partners by the GO through the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), or a committee created for the purpose;

–         non-submission of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA);

–         Lack of proof that the NGO/PO have complied with the equity requirement equivalent to 20% of the total project cost, which may be in the form of labor, land for project site, facilities, equipment and the like, to be used in the project.

Despite the COA advice, the Office of the Governor tried to release a total of P600,000 to two multipurpose cooperatives based in the towns of Banate and San Enrique, Iloilo.

A total of P400,000 loan was to be released to the De La Paz Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Brgy. De La Paz, Banate.

The governor also tried to release another P200,000 loan to the District of San Enrique Public School Teachers and Non-Teachers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

But Pasuelo said the financial aids were defective as these were not concurred by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as prescribed by Section 36 of the Local Government Code.

NGOs/POs that seek funding assistance from local governments must first submit several documents as embodied in COA Circular No. 2007-001 before they can receive money from the capitol.

Some of these requisite documents include certificates of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cooperative Development Authority and Department of Labor and Employment; authenticated copy of the latest Articles of Incorporation or articles of cooperation; financial report audited by and independent certified public accountant.

In a letter dated October 7, 2009, Tupas sought authority from the SP to enter into loan contracts with seven cooperatives that want to borrow a total of P1.5 million.

Among the seven cooperatives were the cooperatives in Banate and San Enrique whose disbursement vouchers were nixed by COA.

Tupas’ letter was included in the agenda of SP’s regular session Tuesday and has been referred to the committee on appropriations.

Vice Governor Rolex Suplico said they will strictly scrutinize the standing of the cooperatives.

Suplico said they will determine if the cooperatives satisfied the documentary requirements set by COA.

June 2020

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