Talisay spent P5.8M in 2012 from ‘falsified’ bids-A A +A
Thursday, September 12, 2013
STATE auditors found that the Talisay City Government illegally disbursed almost P6 million for the repair of motor vehicles and heavy equipment last year.
In their audit report on the 2012 spending of the Talisay City Government, the Commission on Audit (COA) stated that the administration of Mayor Socrates Fernandez allegedly violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act by allowing the release of P5,866,930 in various transactions that involved falsified canvass documents.
COA auditors said some of the signatures on the canvass documents for the repair of City-owned vehicles and heavy equipment were forged and one of the private contractors had ceased operations in 2010 yet.
Former Talisay City administrator Richel Bacaltos said COA has not asked local officials concerned to explain the cited transactions.
State auditors found the disbursements worth P5.8 million to be “prejudicial to the interest of the government” and are “deemed unlawful and punishable under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 3 (e and g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” read the report prepared by state auditor Maria Daisy Bercede.
COA recommended that the Talisay City Government conduct an impartial investigation and institute appropriate sanctions against personnel responsible for the disbursements.
It recommended that persons responsible be required to refund the disallowed disbursements.
Auditors advised the technical working group (TWG) of Talisay City to scrutinize canvass and bid documents to ensure fairness and transparency in the bidding process.
The P5.8 million covered 29 transactions in 2012.
COA noted that the payment for the transactions were supported with three price quotations procured through small value procurement with the same suppliers.
Nine suppliers reportedly participated in the bidding and the TWG recommended SSVF Add Trading as the winning bidder.
The TWG is responsible for procurement planning, purchasing, contract management and procurement monitoring.
During the audit, COA visited the offices of the bidders and interviewed persons who signed the canvass and bid documents.
Kwik Way Engineering Work (Kwew), which is based in Cebu City, submitted 14 bid quotations and canvass documents out of 29 transactions. The documents bore the signature of a Vicinte “Inting” Pongot or Clemente “Inting” Pongot.
But Clemente Ponggot, who identified himself as a salesman of Kwew, told COA auditors that the signatures in the bid and canvass documents were not his. He showed the auditors his company identification card, which bore his signature.
Ponggot also told state auditors that his company only reconditions engines.
In the canvass documents, Kwew was identified as a company that repaired mini dump trucks and compactors owned by the City.
COA also approached JBEL Heaving Equipment Parts Center (JHEPC), which sells heavy equipment parts and repairs hydraulic systems.
COA auditors found that JHEPC submitted canvass documents related to at least 13 transactions for heavy equipment repairs.
JHEPC general manager Jolly Bordeos told COA auditors last May 2013, however, that he cannot remember participating in any bidding or submitting price quotations to Talisay City Hall.
Bordeos also said the signatures in the bid and canvassing documents were not his. He said his name is Jolly, while the documents submitted by City Hall for COA audit referred to a “Joly.”
He also showed COA auditors his identification card to prove that his signature is different from those that appeared in the canvass and bid documents.
State auditors also revealed that in 11 instances, the name of a certain Lito Halili appeared to have submitted canvass documents on behalf of JHEPC.
But Halili told state auditors that he works for JHEPC. Halili said he is the owner of B and L Heavy Equipment Parts Center, which also participated in the bidding process.
He said the signatures in the bid and canvass documents were not his.
Halili also revealed that his establishment only deals with heavy equipment and denied repairing patrol cars as stated in three canvass documents.
RUD General Services Corp. also told state auditors that they only calibrate injection pumps and do not repair engines as mentioned in four canvass documents.
Harold Tomarong, a technician at RUD who was named in canvass and bid documents, denied the signatures in the papers were his. He said RUD did not participate in the bidding process at City Hall.
COA auditors also found that another bidder in the 2012 transactions, First Engine Rebuilder Inc. (Feri), had stopped operations in May 2010 yet.
According to audited documents, Feri submitted two canvass documents out of 29 transactions.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 12, 2013.