Senators ask why PS-DBM fired contractual employees

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2021 10:26 PM

MANILA - The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Monday questioned why the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) decided not to renew contracts of some of its employees.

This is after its former inspection chief Jorge Mendoza III said his contract was not renewed even after 31 years of service.

Mendoza revealed that before he retired, he was ordered to sign an inspection report even if the personal protective equipment ordered from China has not arrived yet.

This prompted Senator Francis Pangilinan to ask the motives behind Mendoza’s non-renewal of contract.

"I am surprised that someone like Mr. Mendoza whose been around for 31 years is suddenly removed. I want to know how many are removed. We are investigating wrongdoing here, if this is part of the effort to keep the lid, keep it under wraps, remove people who may know something," he asked.

PS-DBM officer-in-charge Attorney Jasonmer Uayan said he needed to consult their Human Resource Department to determine reasons behind the non-renewal of contracts of some of their employees.

UNDERDECLARATION, NO DECLARATION

Sen. Imee Marcos, meanwhile, questioned why there are “under-declarations” in Pharmally Pharmaceutical’s records.

"Pharmally was awarded contracts amounting to P9.06 billion from April to June 2020. However, only P7.485 billion in sales was declared. There seems to be an under declaration of P2 billion,” Marcos asked.

The company treasurer replied there is no underdeclaration, and they hired an accounting firm for the transactions. 

But when pressed for the records, and other details which includes who in the PS-DBM postponed their other deliveries, he said he will "just have to check the records."

"I am not in the Philippines right now. We will submit it to the honorable committee for review," said Pharmally Pharma’s treasurer Mohit Dargani.

Marcos also asked former PS-DBM official Lloyd Christopher Lao why he failed to include in his income tax return any income from 2017 to 2019 while he has "earned income" from sale of memorial lots.

"Even as an employee of the government if you have various or mixed income sources, you still have to file your own tax return and compute income on an aggregated basis. Bakit zero ang income pero nagka-increasan ang net worth?” she asked.

Lao said the memorial lots were sold by his wife from P80,000 to P100,000, and he has invested himself in a law practice.

"Aside from the memorial lots, we also sold 2 of my lots... 2011 na property house and lot which I sold at P3.5 million and I also sold a golf course property.. at P2.5 million so basically that's the source of the increase. Plus my annual salary," Lao said.

"We don't declare it sa ITR because it is not part of my profession or neither of my work.. may capital gains tax po iyan na bayad sa BIR," he added.

Marcos insisted that it should still be part of his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

"We all have to submit our SALN and you have to aggregate all source of income...To what do I blame this upon because it is really inconsistent," she said.

Marcos requested for Lao’s complete BIR report. She also asked what Lao was doing in Taiwan at a time Pharmally was being incorporated.

Lao said he was with his family, and the trip had nothing to do with Pharmally.