Three gov't agencies hit for undelivered crime-fighting equipment worth P2.73-B

Published July 16, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Ben Rosario

Three government agencies have been blamed for the long delayed delivery of some P2.73 billion worth of firearms, ammunitions and other police equipment that the Philippine National Police (PNP) paid in advance one to ten years ago.

High powered firearms

The Commission on Audit (COA) revealed in its 2020 PNP Annual Audit Report that the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) and the National Computer Center (NCC) have yet to liquidate the funds transferred by the PNP several years ago.

COA said the three agencies must refund the total unused funds that the PNP has remitted them and fully liquidate the fund transfers made by the police agency.

This is not the first time COA has chided the PITC and PS-DBM for their failure to procure and deliver goods and services paid for in advance by a number of government agencies.

“Fund transferred by the PNP -National Headquarters to the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) for the procurement of various machinery and equipment amounting to P604.853 million remained outstanding for more than four years, thereby undermining the objective of engaging the services of PITC and procuring equipment,” COA reported.

In the same report, the state audit agency said there has been a long standing balance of fund transfers to PS-DBM and the NCC amounting to P2.133 billion.

The items ordered by the PNP with the said amount it advanced to PS-DBM and the NCC have “remained undelivered with delay ranging from one to 10 years and unliquidated due to unresolved issues between the PNP and the NCC”, auditors disclosed.

“PS-DBM has a balance of P1,988,448,433.53 arising out of funds transferred to PS for the procurement of ammunitions, office supplies, various equipment and others which remained undelivered or unliquidated for a period ranging from one to ten years,” the audit report stated.

Among the items still pending delivery to the PNP are the 909 sets of caliber .40mm HIgh Explosive Dual Purpose Ammunition priced at P4.08 million.

Last year, the PS-DBM was able to deliver surgical gowns, firearms and other items costing the PNP P1.84 billion or 48 percent of the P3.82 billion the police agency entrusted to the procurement office.

“The considerable delay in the procurement action of PS-DBM defeats the very purpose of tapping the services of PS-DBM which is ‘to hasten project implementation,’” COA examiners lamented.

They added: “This hinders the immediate use of the equipment as well and unnecessarily prevents PNP from efficiently and effectively carrying out its mandate.” The PITC, on the other hand, has failed to deliver several units automatic grenade launchers; 3,300 ponchos and other items for anti-crime operations of the PNP.

Meanwhile, COA said the NCC still has an outstanding balance of P140.27 million to the PNP in connection with the implementation of the National Crime Information System. The PNP has reportedly refused to accept the allegedly deficient or outdated computer equipment delivered by the NCC for the NCIS program.