COA report: Asean projects irregular
CEBU CITY—The Commission on Audit (COA) found several deficiencies in the implementation of the projects for the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Leaders’ Summit.
The COA report on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) project, which included findings on Asean-related projects, was posted on the commission’s website and did not indicate when it made the audit and came up with the findings.
COA, in its audit report, noted that 136 projects worth more than P1.5 billion, as part of the preparations for the 12th Asean summit, were implemented through alternative methods of procurement, instead of through a public bidding.
Under Section 10 of Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Act), all government procurements should be done through competitive bidding, except those provided for in Article 16 of the Act where negotiated procurements are allowed under certain conditions.
In a memorandum dated June 23, 2006, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr. authorized the implementation of the projects through negotiated procurement, stating as a reason the lack of time to prepare for the Asean summit.
COA noted that the proximity of the scheduled activity could not be invoked since there was no man-made or natural calamity which occurred to require the bending of the rules to prevent loss of lives and properties.
In addition, the schedule and venue of the 12th Asean Summit were known during the 11th Asean Summit since both were agreed upon by the member-nations, the COA report pointed out.
COA said 63 projects, worth P766 million, were implemented without appropriate funding and perfected contracts, a violation of the law.
The agency also confirmed that the P54.9 million worth of 660 sets of street lamps installed in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu were overpriced, resulting in P35.5 million loss for the government.
The COA directed the DPWH to demand the refund of the P24.9 million from Gampik Construction and Development Inc., the company that installed the street lamps.
If DPWH fails to do so, all those involved in the procurement process would be held liable for the amount involved, COA added.
The COA also found that 16 of DPWH regular maintenance projects, costing P168.3 million that were located outside the venues of the summit, were included in the list of Asean-related projects and implemented through negotiated procurement.
Several rehabilitation and repair works costing P30.3 million were implemented in private lands, resulting in the wasteful use of government funds, COA added.
Copyright 2013 INQUIRER.net and content partners. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.