The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from the service of a town mayor in Zamboanga del Sur and eight other town officials over the anomalous procurement of agricultural supplies worth P4.112 million three years ago.
The Ombudsman ordered Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Roy Encallado sacked from the service for grave misconduct for the alleged anomalous procurement of supplies from Barcelona Spring Farm (BSF) valued at PHP4.112 million.
Also ordered dismissed were Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairman Arwin Alpha, BAC members Alex Villarin, Elvira Emia, Andres Limatoc, and Merlinda Ambaic; Municipal Accountant Eien Maning, National Resource Management Focal Person and Municipal Planning Officer Ludivina Salazar, and Inspection Officer Pilar Locop.
Investigation revealed that in 2014, the municipality received a P5-million grant from the Department of Agriculture under the Sustainable Income Generating Activity, a sub-project of the Mindanao Rural Development Program funded by the World Bank for the implementation of aquamarine farming projects.
In using the grant, the respondents procured fish cages, fingerlings and fish feeds without conducting any public bidding.
On Apr. 14, 2016, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued a Notice of Disallowance (ND) observing the irregularities in the unjustified resort to the alternative method of Procurement Agent, non-compliance with the requirement of posting the invitations to bid in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System, and non-imposition of warranty security prescribed under Republic Act No. 9184, or the “Government Procurement Reform Act”.
The COA also found that the respondents paid BSF as early as January 2015 even prior to completion of the delivery, inspection and acceptance of the supplies on Feb. 20, 2015.
On Jan. 6, 2016, the COA conducted an ocular inspection of the project site and found that no fish cages were installed and no fingerlings or fish feeds were delivered.
“By grossly failing to observe the procedure in R.A. No. 9184, in the procurement of the fish cages, fingerlings, and fish feeds and by effecting payments in advance of the inspection and acceptance, the respondents, in the performance of their official duties, willfully intended to violate the law or to disregard established rules,” the Ombudsman said in its decision.
It added “the payments to BSF would not have been possible if not the concerted acts of respondent Encallado who approved the payments; respondent Maning who certified the documents as complete; respondents Salazar and Locop who signed the Inspection and Acceptance Report; respondent Alpha who signed the RFQs [or Requests for Quotations]; and respondents Villarin, Emia, Limatoc, and Amaic who signed the BAC resolutions recommending the use of Negotiated Procurement by way of a Procurement Agent and awarding the contracts to BSF.” (PNA)