Ombudsman warns on use of gov’t vehicles
If you see government vehicles being used for personal purposes during the Holy Week vacation, please report to the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.
Pelagio Apostol, Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas, said in a statement that government officials and employees should refrain from using their service vehicles in their out-of-town vacations.
The erring public servants and those without trip tickets might be considered liable under various laws, including Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), R.A. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), Revised Administrative Code of the Philippines, Commission on Audit (COA) circulars, Government Accounting and Auditing Manual, and other executive issuances.
Under COA rules, the use of government vehicles is only allowed for official business and should be authorized by a “trip ticket.” The ticket contains the destination, purpose and duration of travel.
All government vehicles should also be clearly marked with the name and location of the office, corporation and agency.
The rules bar the use of the vehicles for personal use of officials and their families or friends, including bringing their spouse or children to office and school.
The Ombudsman-Visayas has created an interagency task force on “Oplan Red Plate” with the COA, Civil Service Commission, Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Information Agency.
It will be monitoring the use of public vehicles that might be used for personal purposes by public officials and employees during the Lenten vacation and on April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan), also a nonworking holiday.
The government loses at least P9 million weekly on government vehicles used for unofficial purposes nationwide, according to the Ombudsman-Visayas statement.
The Ombudsman-Regional Office has appealed to the public to report any misuse of government vehicles. Information including the vehicle’s plate number, color and type, place and time where the vehicle was spotted could be reported to the interagency task-force (09178898662) and Ombudsman (09155391957). Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas