‘Waste of funds during pandemic’: Bohol gov, others accused of overprice, irregularities in supply contracts
TAGBILARAN CITY—The former mayor of the city has filed a graft complaint against the governor and other officials of Bohol province for alleged price padding in several supply contracts.
Dan Neri Lim, former Tagbilaran mayor, on Wednesday (March 17) asked the Office of the Ombudsman to start an investigation of Gov. Arthur Yap, provincial administrator Kathryn Fe Pioquinto and members of the provincial government’s bids and awards committee for alleged irregular and corrupt acts.
Yap and Pioquinto have yet to reply to INQUIRER.net’s request for comment as of 7 p.m. on Wednesday (March 17).
According to Lim, the provincial government of Bohol approved the procurement by negotiated purchase of eight motorcycles from a company called TWIS Trading for a total of P718,000 on March 18, 2020.
Lim’s complaint said the purchase price of the motorcycles was declared on paper as P89,750 each. But he said he checked and a Honda XRM 125 cc motorcycle costs only P55,000 brand new and only P18,000 second hand.
“Comparing the market price and the cost as purchased, there is an overprice of P34,750 per unit or P278,000 for eight units,” the complaint said.
It added that the motorcycles were bought from a company based in Cabuyao, Laguna province instead of from suppliers in Bohol, which Lim said was “very illogical” because such would add freight costs to the purchase price.
Lim said when he checked he found no company named TWIS Trading in its listed address in Laguna.
“The address given was a residential place, phone unattended, no office, and no help desk support and showroom, ” the former mayor said.
The second project awarded by the provincial government to TWIS Trading was for a communication and security system with a contract price of P68,714,500.
“It must be noted that the same company has a questionable personality,” Lim said.
“Specifically, the prices of computers based on the specifications are more than the regular and market prices,” he said.
Another alleged irregular transaction entered into by the provincial government of Bohol, Lim said, was the rental of light and sound system from a supplier named PTM Disco Record Center, intended for the Philippine Travel Exchange 2020 event which was held in Panglao, a resort town in Bohol.
The closing program of the event was on Sept. 25, 2020. However, the notice of award for the procurement was issued only on Dec. 18, 2020, or three months after the event ended.
On June 29, 2020, Lim said a notice of award was issued by Yap to a company called Dextel Trading for the purchase of mobile X-ray machines for a total of P22,788,000 or P3,798,000 per unit.
“However, upon checking with various suppliers, the cost of the unit of the same specification is only P950,000. In this case, there is overpricing of each unit in the amount of P2,848,000 or a total amount of P17,000,000,” the complaint said.
Lim said he hoped the Ombudsman would look into the transactions to hold those responsible accountable for waste of public funds in a time of pandemic.
Edited by TSB
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.