MANILA, Philippines - An agency under the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) has exceeded its approved 2010 procurement budget by 388%, mainly through supply purchases from hand-picked contractors, the Commission on Audit said (COA).
Based on a report to Undersecretary Lucas Cauton Jr., COA said the Office of the Transportation Security bought supplies that were not part of the annual procurement plan.
“Verification of paid disbursement vouchers revealed that the procured inventories amounting to P75,395,651.00 for CY 2010 was 388% higher than the APP of P19,434,000,” auditors said. OTS purchases included envelopes, folders, bond papers, mimeographing papers, ink cartridges for computer printers, pens and highlighters.
P55.92 million of the purchases went to the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group.
COA also noted that some of the supply firms were “owned by persons having the same last name…, with addresses adjacent with each other; belonged to the same owner/proprietor; and are not registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”
Among the suppliers were Four Petals Trading owned by Maria Pacita Hernandez Umali; Curm Enterprises owned by Christopher Hernandez Umali; Bivenrei Trading owned by Rubi Hernandez-Hernandez; ETH Builders Trading and Commercial Supplies and Cherub Equipment Rental Service and Trading, both owned by Estela Torres Hernandez.
COA also noted the transactions took place in close succession from January 8 to April 12, 2010.