CoA flags Pasig for excessive purchase totaling P2 B

Published November 6, 2020, 5:53 PM

by Ben Rosario

The Commission on Audit berated the Pasig City government for excessive procurement of supplies and materials worth nearly P2 billion last year but failed to pinpoint blame between incumbent Mayor Vico Sotto and his predecessor, former Mayor Robert Eusebio.

In the 2019 annual audit report it released recently, CoA noted that the city government spent only 55 percent or P164.9 million of the total P299.857 million appropriated in 2019 for development projects. Again, fault has not been established.

However, when it comes to the failure of the city government to convene the Solid Waste Management Board, blame was pointed to Sotto.

“The Solid Waste Management Board has not been convened since the assumption of the current local chief executive, who is the ex-officio head of the board pursuant to Section 12 of RA No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Act of 2000, thus, planning for the safe and sanitary management of waste within the territorial jurisdiction of the city was not fully performed,” CoA lamented.

In response to this adverse audit observation, the city government assured auditors that an executive order for the revision of the SWM board is now ready for Sotto’s approval.

State auditors revealed that from January to December 2019, the city government procured a total of P1.942 billion in supplies and materials.

“Records also showed that acquisitions during the year in the total amount of P1,942,956,542.89 were 26.23 percent higher than previous year, while issuances during the same year totaling P1,089,155,939.45 were lower by 48.54 percent,” CoA said.

Sotto took over the reins of the city government in June 2019 after toppling Eusebio who was the mayor in 2018 and half of 2019.
The excessive procurement that resulted to inventory balances beyond reasonable limits that may eventually go to waste due to obsolecense and other forms of losses is not only contrary to the abovementioned Circular (CoA Circular 2012-003) but can also be attributed to poor planning/budgeting,” CoA stated.

Meanwhile, auditors decried “the lack of coordination in planning and project monitoring” by the city government that resulted in the low 55 percent use of the 20 percent development fund allocated in 2019.

CoA said only P164.908 million was spent for various projects yet there is a total P299.857-million fund ready to be spent for development purposes.

Auditors said underspending is a violation of Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2017-1 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Budget and Management.

Of the three development projects scheduled for the year, the city government was only able to complete the construction of the revetment wall and concrete stairs of the Eastbank Road Floodway in Barangay Sta. Lucia. The project costs the city government P164.907,936.94 in development fund.

With “zero” accomplishments were the construction of pumping station for the Napindan River in Barangay Pinagbuhatan and the landscape development of Opal to Onyx Streets in Barangay San Antonio, with allocations of P4.430 million and P130.5 million, respectively.

“We recommended that the city mayor require the City Planning and Development Office and the City Engineer’s Office to properly coordinate with concerned offices to ensure that the 20 percent DF is optimally utilized to help achieve the desirable socio-economic development and environmental outcomes of the LGU as required under the DBM-DILG JMC No. 2017-01,” CoA said.