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Saturday, January 25, 2014
SAMBAG 1 Barangay Captain Lemar Alcover saw an irregularity in the purchase of a dental chair by the previous administration. The chair is now gathering dust in the corner of the ground floor of the barangay hall.
Last Jan. 9, Alcover wrote Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol, citing what he believes is irregularity in the purchase of the chair priced at P452,000.
Based on Alcover’s research, the American Patient brand dental chair only costs P380,000, while a China-made chair only costs P220,000.
“We believe that the events and facts are adequate to merit your office to conduct a formal investigation,” his letter read.
A victim of politics
Former Sambag 1 barangay captain Jerry Guardo said the purchase included accessories like the light cure, scaler, compressor and labor installation.
The dental chair would have been installed, but the change in administration overtook the event.
“The dental chair would have helped a lot of children and parents in the barangay because of the free dental check-up and some procedures. We have already talked with dentists who were willing to volunteer their services,” said Guardo.
But Alcover doubts the intention of the purchase because the dental chair is too heavy for the second floor of the barangay’s multi-purpose building where the health center is located.
Guardo said his administration had identified a room on the ground floor to be the dental clinic.
Alcover also uncovered that there were two “failed biddings” for the dental chair, as stated in the resolution of the bids and awards committee, dated Aug. 14, 2013. He was surprised that there was a Feb 11, 2013 letter request for a price quote.
Guardo said the fact that the check was authorized by the City Treasurer’s Office means procedure was duly followed.
Alcover is also suspicious of the supplier, Guin’s General Merchandise, because the address on the receipt of the dental chair reads second floor, Labangon Public Market.
When his staff checked, the company didn’t have an office in the said address.
Alcover warned that four more complaints or irregularities will be brought to the anti-graft office, and these are only transactions for 2013.
“Anytime, we will face him because we are transparent and all transactions are with documents,” Guardo said.
The contest for barangay captain between Alcover and Guardo’s wife Ailien was close.
Alcover was declared winner by just 119 votes, while the recount before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities showed Ailien leading by 113 votes.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 25, 2014.