Audit body seeks Defensor’s help to recover P110-M Tupas disallowance
DEFENSOR: The Capitol was a mess when he assumed its helm in 2010.
TUPAS: Disallowances by COA are hounding him even after he left Capitol.
By Florence F. Hibionada
THE Iloilo Provincial Government is still reeling from the “aftershocks” of the administration of former Governor Neil Tupas Sr.
This, as action and intervention of Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has been asked to help cause the refund of some P110 million in disallowed transactions during the Tupas incumbency.
An inherited financial mess, the disallowance and demand for payment were highlighted in the latest Annual Audit Report (AAR) of the Commission On Audit (COA).
Illegal, irregular and improper said the Commission in summing up its report and corresponding recommendation regarding the disallowance.
Take for instance the P102.7 million in illegal Capitol bonus granted in 2009. With P50,000 then given to each Capitol official and employee, COA now wants it all back. The disallowance was reached after a review was made by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ruling against the grant due to Capitol’s excess in Personal Services (PS) limitation.
“Despite the clear pronouncements of the foregoing regulations and the existence of excess in personal services limitation, the Provincial Government still granted P50,000.00 per employee or a total of P102,700..We recommend that management cause the refund,” excerpts of the COA report went.
Cause the refund too, COA continued, of over P5.3 million given to the Iloilo Provincial Government as aid for victims of Typhoon Frank.
“The Province of Iloilo received various financial assistance particularly from the Province of Cebu in the amount of P3,000,000 and from Representative Irwin Tieng amounting to P3,000,000 as aid to victims of Typhoon Frank which hit the Province of Iloilo on June 21, 2008,” the COA report stated.
Of the said amount, P5,342,100 was used to buy medicines and supplies. Problem though as Government Auditors uncovered, no bidding was done and instead, “emergency purchase” as mode was instituted.
Worse still, the “emergency purchase” happened January 1, 2010 to April 29, 2010 thus “too late to justify that they were emergency needs of the intended beneficiaries who are the victims of Typhoon Frank.”
“In other words, there was no more emergency nor imminent danger to life or property to speak of when the medicines were procured. The justification therefore has no factual basis designed only to avoid public bidding,” COA said.
The P5.3 million was also divided into 14 Purchase Requests/Purchase Orders awarded to a single Capitol supplier. COA verification established that said supplier, JVZ Drug Distribution Center was a favored firm.
“Cause the refund of the disallowed amount of P5,342,100 by persons found to be liable,” COA wrote.
And similar demand for refund still on an overpayment made to a Capitol caterer in the Iloilo Rehabilitation Center in the amount of P643,582.00.
The disallowed transaction was made between January to March of 2010, the last stretch of Tupas’ term.
The overpayment was uncovered after validation was made on the disbursement vouchers examined by COA thus the call for Defensor to “cause the refund by SLP Canteen.”
The latest report was officially transmitted to Defensor with a 30-day reply sought by the COA.