NEGROS Occidental Governor Isidro Zayco has ordered the cancellation of an additional purchase of books for the day care centers that were availed already by the various local government units.

This after a controversy broke hitting the governor’s office and his staff on the alleged “missing” textbooks that executive assistant to the governor Jonathan Lobaton refuted as saying “it was all legal transactions, anyway.”

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The supposed purchase of books was in response to the requests made by some town and city officials in the province.

“There are no missing books and there was no overpricing on the purchase of the P1.4-million worth of books as it was already distributed to the day care centers in the province,” said Lobaton.

Sun.Star Bacolod sources claimed that the books were stockpiled since last year at the stock room of the City Council as those books were not accredited by the Department of Education thus it was not distributed because of wrong grammars that were reportedly noted on the book’s content. The books were supplied by St. Mary’s Publishings, Inc.

Zayco said Capitol paid for the books that have already been distributed to the recipients.

On the other hand, Lobaton explained that the purchase of the books amounting to P1.4 million were made through a direct contracting which he said is allowed under Republic Act No. 9184 or the Procurement Act of the Philippines.

The source of fund for the book purchase, Lobaton said was from Grants and Donations under the Office of the Governor, “reason why it did not passed through the Local School Board.”

Section 50 of Article XVI on Alternative Methods of Procurement of Republic Act No. 9184, cited that direct contracting may be resorted to only in any of the following conditions: procurement of goods of propriety nature, which can be obtained only from the propriety source, that is when patents, trade secrets and copyrights prohibit others from manufacturing the same items; when the procurement of critical components from a specific manufacturer, supplier, or distributor is a condition precedent to hold a contractor to guarantee its project performance, in accordance with the provisions his contract; or those sold by an exclusive dealer or manufacturer, which does not have sub-dealers selling at lower prices and for which no suitable substitute can be obtained at more advantageous terms to the government.

Negros Occidental has more than 1500 day care centers.

“The purchase of book worth P1.4 million are not even enough for a town. Kabankalan alone has 180 day care centers,” said Lobaton.

He also explained that the books that were taken from the stock room of the City Council which amounted to P400,000 were released to Kabankalan City.

Lobaton said the purchase of the books is in line with the education Program of governor Zayco under his HEART’s PLUS program.

Lobaton said he sees malice to the issue over book purchase.

“It’s clear that the facts are manufactured. I do not know of the real intention. The attacks may not be for the governor but it might be for me,” he said.

Employees’ squabble

The controversy that cropped up was because of the squabbles of some employees, said Zayco.

“There are employees who would only talk and come up with the issue without substantiating documents,” he said.

Lobaton said there are apparent moves against him by fabricating issues.

He said he made the processing of the book purchase and that it gone through proper procedures with the concurrence of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

He said they only made the purchase with St. Mary’s Publishing for the P1.4 and that there were other accredited suppliers where they made some purchases.

“We did not purchase only from one supplier. That’s why we’re saying ‘everybody happy’. We have to get it from other suppliers also. We are not beholden to anyone”, he added.

The documents pertaining to the Purchase of the books are now with the Commission on Audit, Lobaton further explained.