Tired of being ignored by big agricultural suppliers, an employee of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) forged over 100 times the signatures of store owners in order to speed up the delivery of supplies for a project of the Central Luzon State University, the Commission on Audit has revealed.
COA uncovered the massive falsification allegedly committed by the assigned “canvasser-buyer”, a certain Mr. Tablang, while conducting the annual audit for 2019 of the country’s premiere school of agriculture in Nueva Ecija.
In the recently released audit report, COA said the forgeries were noted in the Requests for Quotations for the procurement of supplies and materials for the Rice Production and Animal Production Programs of CLSU last year.
“This act prejudiced the regularity of the transactions which did not result from competitive price quotations of at least three bona fide suppliers, as mandated under Section 52.3 of the Revised IRR of RA 9184,” the audit report submitted by Director Lynn S.F. Sicangco disclosed.
Auditors noted that falsification of public documents punishable under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code was apparently committed.
Under RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Act, “shopping” as a mode of procurement is allowed provided that price quotations for supplies, services or materials needed by a government agency are taken from at least three suppliers.
Auditors observed that in the disbursement vouchers relating to the procurement of agricultural and animal supplies under UBAP, shopping was the commonly used method of procurement.
“During the conduct of audit, however, we noted discrepancies in the signatures of persons in the Requests for Quotations of the two losing suppliers attached in the Abstract of Quotations,” the audit examiners disclosed.
Out of the 141 signatures of four suppliers who were supposed to have offered the needed supplies, only three were found to be authentic. A total 138 signatures affixed in the RFQ were forgeries.
Confronted with these findings, the unnamed ‘buyer canvasser” assigned by CLSU admitted the offense and asked for forgiveness.
The buyer canvasser explained that he was forced to forge the signatures of suppliers after encountering difficulties in security the price quotations from some of them.
COA rejected as “unacceptable” the explanation given by the buyer canvasser as it noted that the CLSU employee was the one who received the check payments addressed to the suppliers.
During the exit conference, the newly installed university president informed the audit team that it was decided that due to humanitarian considerations, Mr. Tablang will remain an administrative aide in the office where he is currently assigned.
Auditors were adamant about the decision of the president to transfer the offender.
“We recommended that the University President (a) reprimand the subject “buyer-canvasser” for committing falsification of signatures and fabrication of price quotations in several RFQs pertaining to the procurement of supplies and materials,” the COA said.