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Susyal! Mankayan municipal gov’t, Benguet wasted P1.64M in shopping spree

Oct 2, 2016 @ 17:57
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State auditors scored the municipality of Mankayan in Benguet for resorting to shopping as a means of procuring P1.64 million worth of products, doing away with bulk shopping that could have saved money for the municipality.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said that piece-meal shopping was the primary mode of procurement in transactions amounting to P1,643,716.70.

Auditors noted that bidding was only done on a selective basis, and that shopping was piecemeal, preventing the municipality from saving money in discount from bulk shopping.

“Purchases were on a piecemeal and repetitious basis, depriving the LGU of huge discounts that usually come with bulk acquisition. The manner of procurement also entailed more time, effort and expenses in the preparation of the vouchers and supporting documents,” the auditors said.

The mode of shopping violated the Government Procurement Reform Act, which states that “the procuring entities shall adopt public bidding as a general mode of procurement.”

The law also only allows shopping as a mode of procurement “when there is an unforeseen contingency requiring immediate purchase (provided that the amount shall not exceed P50,000)” and when the “procurement of ordinary or regular office supplies and equipment not available in the Procurement Service involved an amount not exceeding P250,000 (provided that the procurement does not result in splitting of contracts).”

The payments were also done on a reimbursement basis even if the transactions involved a huge amount and checks and were in the name of municipal officials and employees instead of suppliers or dealers. This prevented the municipality from withholding the appropriate taxes.

The COA urged the municipal mayor Materno Luspian to conduct public bidding as the primary mode of procurement in compliance with the law, and to resort to alternative modes of procurement only under the allowed circumstances.

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