COA: P332-M in Nat'l Museum projects lack supporting documents

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2018 03:19 PM

MANILA- The Commission on Audit has questioned five projects worth P332.019 million undertaken by the National Museum which violated a circular requiring government agencies to submit within five working days copies of contracts and other supporting documents. 

In the 2017 audit report on the National Museum, government auditors noted the delayed submission of contracts and failure to submit supporting documents for five projects: 

1. Bohol/Guiuan Heritage Site Restoration: Restoration of the Early 18th Century La Immaculada Concepcion Church

2. Development of National Museum Batanes Branch

3. Rehabilitation of National Museum Fine Arts Building

4. Tabon Cave Museum and Site Development

5. Establishment of Museum in Dumaguete City

“The validity of the contracts executed by the NM for the five infrastructure projects with an aggregate cost of P332,019,722.83 and the efficient/effective implementation thereof cannot be fully ascertained/established due to delay in submission of documentary requirements and absence of necessary information on the documents submitted,” the COA said.

Government auditors said further evaluation of the projects revealed that among the documents which were not submitted are drawings and technical plans, registration certificates of contractors issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways, and certification from the head of the procuring entity that the contract is in accordance with all existing laws, rules and regulations.

The amounts involved for the five projects were as follows:

1. La Immaculada restoration- P111.997 million

2. National Museum Batanes- P8.857 million

3. National Museum Fine Arts- P62.980 million

4. Tabon Cave Museum- P99.202 million

5. Museum in Dumaguete- P48.981 million.

It was also noted that Notices to Proceed were issued to the successful bidders for two projects earlier than the date of approval or signing of the contract while for the other two projects, the dates of issuance were not indicated.

The National Museum, however, said the dates on the NTP’s were an “honest error” as the dates of issuance are actually the dates of their preparation.

“Hence they believed that there was no clear violation on the documents of the projects mentioned,” the COA said. 

The National Museum management also confirmed to the COA their non-compliance of the five-day rule for the submission of supporting documents, but it has already committed to strictly follow the rule after the submission of the said documents.