Nalzaro: Tolentino and Sepe should go

ANOTHER shenanigan committed by key officials at the Capitol has been exposed. This time, for using government properties for private use without following the official procedure. Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino admitted using Capitol-owned materials in a drainage project in the high-end subdivision in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City where he lives.

Not only that. He was accused of using Capitol’s job order employees to do the project in August last year. But he denied this allegation saying the Capitol employees did the job outside their official working hours at the Capitol and they were paid by the homeowner’s association.

Tolentino, who is the president of St. Michael’s Homeowners Association, admitted that the culverts used for the village drainage project to solve their flooding problem came from the Provincial Government. The materials were left unused in former governor Gwen Garcia’s project in the Balili property in the City of Naga.

He clarified that it was Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) chief Jon Sigfred Sepe who informed him of the unused culverts, which were already deteriorating. He said he requested the Provincial Government to donate the culverts to their subdivision.

Sepe said that a Request Issuance Slip (RIS) was released to document the donation. He said that under Commission on Audit (COA) rules, government properties that are left unused for ten years and which has been deteriorating can be disposed through bidding, auction or donation.

But what is the official procedure in disposing government properties through donation? Did Tolentino and Sepe follow these procedures or did they do it on their own bypassing the authority of the governor?

Tolentino and Sepe’s actions raised more questions. Was there a homeowners’ letter of request or resolution requesting Gov. Hilario Davide III to donate those culverts? Or was it just the initiative of Tolentino to show how influential and powerful he is at the Capitol?

Can Tolentino and Sepe decide the matter at their respective levels? Did they communicate to the Office of the Governor and seek the latter’s approval? If it reached the governor, did he approve it? Did the governor endorse it to the committee on personal properties for proper valuation and recommendation?

Sepe said that under COA rules, those items can already be disposed of because these were deteriorating. Maybe Sepe forgot that culverts are hard materials made of cement and has a useful life of several decades.

Besides, was there an inventory conducted by COA before these were donated? Tolentino should also present voucher or acknowledgment receipt signed by the workers that they were paid by the homeowners especially that there were reports the workers were made to undergo biometrics.

This is the same Tolentino and Sepe that were linked to the controversial and questionable bidding for the purchase of light and heavy equipment. I think it is time for them to go. That’s if they know the meaning of “delicadeza.” If not, fire them Mr. Governor.
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