THE Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) cited five deficiencies in a transaction worth P5.2 million for the delivery of packed meals intended for teachers, city employees and other officials during the October 2010 barangay elections.

These deficiencies delayed the City Government’s payment to the supplier Red Carpet Catering Services.

In a letter to the City Council, Acting City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said the delay in Red Carpet’s payment was due to the absence of an approved purchase request and a purchase order.

Diwa said the transaction was not covered by a bids and awards resolution and that there was no notice of award given to the caterer.

The City had resorted to an emergency purchase for the packed meals served to those who were on duty in the barangay elections.

The Commission on Audit (COA) had called the attention of the City about the matter, saying an election is not an emergency but a scheduled exercise.

Cuevas said there was a delay in the payment because there was no budget appropriation for it.

“The above enumerated documents are essentially and legally required in the processing of voucher for payment by the City to the supplier following the provisions of the procurement law,” Cuevas’s letter read.

The council asked Cuevas to explain why the P5.2-million transaction was left unsettled four years after the packed meals were delivered.

Red Carpet’s owner Jose Uy sought the help of the legislative body so that the company can collect the City’s payable.

Uy said he needs the money for a new building since Red Carpet will be moving to another location.

Upon perusal of Cuevas’ letter to the council, Councilor Margarita Osmeña, chairperson of the committee on budget and finance, noted that it did not really answer the question on whether payment to Red Carpet should be made or not.

Osmeña believes the City should take appropriate action to settle the transaction because the goods have already been delivered.

The council then decided to refer the matter to the City Budget Office. (PDF)