COA to OWWA: Why purchase napkins from construction firm, not drug stores?
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has asked an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) deputy administrator to explain why sanitary napkins were purchased from a construction and trading company and not drug stores near the Central Office.
COA mentioned during its audit report of OWWA for 2020 that the regularity of the expenditures made by a certain deputy administrator worth P1.269 million is doubtful as the items were neither procured from reputable shops nor were they properly itemized.
Part of the P1.269 million expenditures are hygiene kits, sanitary napkins, and thermal scanners worth P969,920, which were purchased from MRCJP Construction and Trading. COA said that the company’s establishment or office cannot be found in the address stated in the Collection Receipt (CR) provided.
COA stressed that a major drug store just sits near the vicinity of OWWA’s Central Office in Pasay City.
“It is unlikely that these items were bought from a store which deals with construction supplies or hardware, considering that the Mercury Drugstore is just around the vicinity of the OWWA,” the Commission said.
But aside from that, COA hinted at overpriced and too vague items: for example, the contents of the hygiene kits which was priced at P160 per kit was not indicated. Also, COA noted that the napkins purchased — at around P10, P20, and P30 per piece — “are too costly” because small sari-sari stores sell these items at P8 to P10 each.
“Out of the P2,011,441.90 covered by LR No. FM-OWWA 07-10.4, the propriety and regularity of the expenditures charged to the CA of a Deputy Administrator totaling ₱1,269,920.00 is doubtful due to the awarding of the procurement transactions not to reputable drugstores and supermarkets,” COA said.
“This is an indication that OWWA’s resources were not expended in accordance with rules and regulations and is contrary to Section 2, PD No. 1445,” it added.
COA also underscored that the same official procured bottled water and snack items worth P300,000 from a caterer from Quezon City’s Barangay Old Balara, when these are available in several supermarkets and hypermarkets in Pasay.
“Likewise, the following purchases of bottled water and snack items such as Lemon Square, Fudgee Bar, Dowee Donut, Cupcakes with total cost of P300,000.00 were procured from a caterer with business address at Tandang Sora, Old Balara, Quezon City,” COA explained.
“These items are available in Supermarkets/Hypermarkets within the vicinity of Pasay City. The Audit Team also noted that the unit price of the items procured was not indicated in the ORs issued by the caterer,” it added.
Under the list provided by COA, each of the following purchases in 2020 costed P30,000:
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water, 500 pcs. Ensaymada sandwich & 500 cup cakes (May 4)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water and 1000 pcs. assorted cup cakes (May 1)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water and 1000 pcs. assorted cup cakes (May 2)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water, 500 pcs. egg sandwich & 500 Fudgee Bar (May 3)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water, 500 pcs. Ensaymada (May 5)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water, 500 pcs. Sandwiches and 500 pcs. Lava Cakes, Lemon Square (May 6)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water, 500 pcs. Tuna Sandwiches and 500 pcs. Cup Cakes (May 7)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water, 500 pcs. Dowee Donut and 500 pcs. Fudgee Bar (May 8)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water, 500 pcs. Ensaymada sandwich & 500 cup cakes (May 9)
- 1,000 bottles Mineral water and 1000 pcs. assorted cup cakes (May 10)
The commission did not mention who the OWWA official was, but it asked the OWWA Central Office to order the deputy administrator to “justify why the procurement transactions were awarded to a construction and trading company and to a caterer instead of buying the items from reputable drugstores and supermarkets.”
“We recommend that Management of OWWA-CO to require the deputy administrator to […] show proof on the reasonableness of the prices of the procured items; submit an itemized list of the procured items with the unit prices indicated therein; compel the suppliers of goods and services to issue Sales Invoice/ORs on the said transaction,” COA added.
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