No sanctions on Pagcor, says MalacañangBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang saw no need to impose sanctions after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) immediately stopped the procurement of bottled mineral water without public bidding.
“There’s no sanction,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a press briefing in Malacañang Wednesday when asked if administrative sanctions should be imposed against those behind the procurement of a total of P8.2-million worth of bottled mineral water in three Pagcor casino branches last year.
Lacierda pointed out that even the Commission on Audit did not issue a notice of disallowance and notice of suspension when it called the attention of the state-gaming firm about its purchase of P8.2-million worth of bottled mineral water and another P1.79 million five-gallon water.
“Number one, the amount to purchase was less than 500,000 because you cannot buy the bulk…All the purchases detailed in retail purchases were less than 500,000. What COA did was to audit the entire procurement on an annual basis and, on an annual basis, lumalampas ng 500,000,” he said, explaining why sanctions should not be imposed to anyone responsible for the purchase.
“So this was the practice that was being done before the time of (Pagcor) Chairman (Cristino) Naguiat and because of this notice or report by COA, they have decided to change the procedure, the process,” he said.
Naguiat, Lacierda said, immediately directed its people to stop the practice and to abide the COA.
“When the attention of Chairman Bong Naguiat was called on this, he immediately said ‘let’s stop the whole process. Let’s apply from hereon, let’s do…let’s comply with the procurement requirements,” Lacierda said.
“Chairman Naguiat instructed the body in charge of procurement to ensure na maayos ang ating storage of the water because primarily, number one…Pagcor is not in the water business. But it has to provide services to its patrons so these things will have to be ironed out and fixed.”
“So they are now making a mechanism by which we comply with the procurement, at the same time, making sure that the water will be safe—kasi may expiration ang water e,” Lacierda added.