COA finds DPWH engineer liable for P54.8 million worth of unneeded construction materials

Published November 23, 2019, 3:58 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Ben Rosario 

The Commission on Audit has affirmed the disallowance of payment by the Department of Public Works and Highways in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao of a total P54,814.050.07 in construction materials that were procured in 2008 under highly anomalous circumstances.

Commission on Audit (MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Audit (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In a decision released recently, the COA-Commission Proper junked a Petition for Review filed by DPWH Engineer Yahiya Abdulcalim, saying that he “remains liable under the ND’s (Notice of Disallowances)” for the total amount of P54,814,050.07.

Abdulcalim was the requisitioning officer who sought the delivery of the construction materials despite failing to state the “specific purpose or intended project”: to which the items will be used.

The notices of disallowance for the purchases was recommended by a special audit team that was created in August 10, 2010 to determine the “propriety and effectiveness of the utilization of funds” of the DPWH-ARMM for the period that covered January 2008 to December 2009.

The NDs were issued on various grounds, including the lack of public bidding, lack of legitimate inspection of the delivered construction materials, and the misrepresentation by the suppliers of their actual sales in their report to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

In the transactions between DPWH-ARMM and the All Trade Traders and Manitz Multi-marketing, it was determined that no report about the sales for the construction materials was submitted to the BIR.

It was noted that the two suppliers were in- fact not registered with the revenue agency.

Another supply contractor, identified as the Corics Marketing, had supplied the DPWH-ARMM with construction materials totaling P186.6 million between 2008 to 2010 but reported to the BIR only P1 million gross sales for the said period.

Abdulcalim contested the issuance of NDs, stressed that the inconsistencies found by auditors “may not necessarily invalidate the transactions.”

He insisted that the materials bought by the agency were delivered and the projects for which they were used were all implemented.

Abdulcalim stressed that he should be excluded from liabilities because he merely requested the purchase of the materials upon orders of the “concurrent Regional Secretary, the Regional Governor at the time”. He denied any involvement in the procurement activities.

`”After circumspect evaluation, this Commission finds the petition bereft of merit,” said the COA-CP headed by Chairman Michael Aguinaldo.

The panel said Abdulcalim did not justify the absence of public bidding. Further, he was unable to support his defense with “material/hard evidence” like documents, photographs, bill of materials and even names of persons involved in the transactions.

“Bare and unsubstantiated allegations do not constitute substantial evidence and have no probative value,” the COA-CP stressed.

The COA officials also thumbed down Abdulcalim’s insistence that he should be excluded from liability because his participation was limited to “preparing and filling up” of requisition forms.

“As the requisitioning officer, Engr. Abdulcalim is duty-bound to determine the reasonableness of the quantity and nature of item/s being requested,” the COA-CP ruled.

The quasi-judicial body noted that the petitioner “did not act with due diligence as he failed to detect the obvious defects” in the purchase documents.

“In this case, Engr. Abdulcalim being the requisitioning officer, represented that the materials listed in the RISs (requisition issue slips) are needed for the supposed projects, thus, prompting the DPWH-ARMM to proceed with the procurement process,” the COA-CP pointed out.

 
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COA finds DPWH engineer liable for P54.8 million worth of unneeded construction materials

Published November 23, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben Rosario 

The Commission on Audit has affirmed the disallowance of payment by the Department of Public Works and Highways in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao of a total P54,814.050.07 in construction materials that were procured in 2008 under highly anomalous circumstances.

Commission on Audit (MANILA BULLETIN)
Commission on Audit (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In a decision released recently, the COA-Commission Proper junked a Petition for Review filed by DPWH Engineer Yahiya Abdulcalim, saying that he “remains liable under the ND’s (Notice of Disallowances)” for the total amount of P54,814,050.07.

Abdulcalim was the requisitioning officer who sought the delivery of the construction materials despite failing to state the “specific purpose or intended project”: to which the items will be used.

The notices of disallowance for the purchases was recommended by a special audit team that was created in August 10, 2010 to determine the “propriety and effectiveness of the utilization of funds” of the DPWH-ARMM for the period that covered January 2008 to December 2009.

The NDs were issued on various grounds, including the lack of public bidding, lack of legitimate inspection of the delivered construction materials, and the misrepresentation by the suppliers of their actual sales in their report to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

In the transactions between DPWH-ARMM and the All Trade Traders and Manitz Multi-marketing, it was determined that no report about the sales for the construction materials was submitted to the BIR.

It was noted that the two suppliers were in- fact not registered with the revenue agency.

Another supply contractor, identified as the Corics Marketing, had supplied the DPWH-ARMM with construction materials totaling P186.6 million between 2008 to 2010 but reported to the BIR only P1 million gross sales for the said period.

Abdulcalim contested the issuance of NDs, stressed that the inconsistencies found by auditors “may not necessarily invalidate the transactions.”

He insisted that the materials bought by the agency were delivered and the projects for which they were used were all implemented.

Abdulcalim stressed that he should be excluded from liabilities because he merely requested the purchase of the materials upon orders of the “concurrent Regional Secretary, the Regional Governor at the time”. He denied any involvement in the procurement activities.

`”After circumspect evaluation, this Commission finds the petition bereft of merit,” said the COA-CP headed by Chairman Michael Aguinaldo.

The panel said Abdulcalim did not justify the absence of public bidding. Further, he was unable to support his defense with “material/hard evidence” like documents, photographs, bill of materials and even names of persons involved in the transactions.

“Bare and unsubstantiated allegations do not constitute substantial evidence and have no probative value,” the COA-CP stressed.

The COA officials also thumbed down Abdulcalim’s insistence that he should be excluded from liability because his participation was limited to “preparing and filling up” of requisition forms.

“As the requisitioning officer, Engr. Abdulcalim is duty-bound to determine the reasonableness of the quantity and nature of item/s being requested,” the COA-CP ruled.

The quasi-judicial body noted that the petitioner “did not act with due diligence as he failed to detect the obvious defects” in the purchase documents.

“In this case, Engr. Abdulcalim being the requisitioning officer, represented that the materials listed in the RISs (requisition issue slips) are needed for the supposed projects, thus, prompting the DPWH-ARMM to proceed with the procurement process,” the COA-CP pointed out.

 
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