DPWH exec liable for P54M anomalous procurement: COA

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    THE Commission on Audit has affirmed notices of disallowance issued against a government engineer at the Department of Public Works and Highways– Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-ARMM) pertaining to the anomalous procurement of construction materials worth P54.814 million from January 2008 to December 2009.

    COA chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc denied the petition for review filled by Engineer Yahiya A. Abdulcalim, requisitioning officer for the agency, noting numerous irregularities in the transactions.

    Among the grounds cited were the lack of public bidding; failure to account for the whereabouts of the construction materials as the job sites were not indicated; undated purchase requests (PR), purchase orders (PO), requisition issue slips (RIS), and inspection and acceptance reports (IAR) were all undated; the signatories to the inspection reports could not be identified as the signatures did not match any personnel DPWH-ARMM; the supposed suppliers did not reply to verification inquiries from the audit team; the suppliers’ sales record from preceding years were too small compared to the size of the contracts awarded to them; many of the “original receipts” submitted were found to be spurious; and the same person encashed all 153 check payments to four different suppliers.

    The disallowed procurements covering the 23-month period totaled P413.322 million.
    Abdulcalim was held liable only for P54.814 million of the said amount based on his signatures on the purchase orders, requisition issue slips, and purchase requests.

    A breakdown of the transactions showed Corics Marketing was awarded supply contracts worth P152.232 million, Manitz Multi-Marketing got P87.867 million, Light Edge Marketing got P84.21 million, Finch Enterprises got P56.197 million, and All Trade Traders got P32.817 million.

    However, before landing big government contracts none of them handled any delivery of that magnitude.

    “Based on the charge invoices (CIs)and official receipts (ORs) issued by the suppliers …the DPWH-ARMM appears to be their major, if not sole, client from January 3 to December 2009 as the series of CIs and ORs issued were almost consecutive in numbers,” the auditors said.

    In its disclosure to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Finch Enterprises reported sales of only P12,463 in 2008 and P11,528 in 2009 even if its supposed contract with the DPWH-ARMM amounted to P64.744 million in that period.

    On the other hand, Light Edge Marketing reported gross sales of P5,766 in 2008 and P12,214 in 2009 although its contract with the DPWH-ARMM alone supposedly reached P99.364 million.