EAMC officials sacked for anomalous medical supply purchase
Top officials of the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) were ordered dismissed by the Ombudsman after they were found guilty of grave misconduct over an anomalous 2006 procurement of medical supplies and equipment.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found the following incumbent officials administratively liable for grave misconduct: Medical Center Chief Roland Cortez, Financial and Management Officer Marietta Cruz, and Chief Administrative Officer Jose Calixtro.
According to the Ombudsman’s investigation, the EAMC in 2006 procured medical supplies worth P10,353,276.75 without public bidding.
The procurement was split into 47 small purchases at P250,000 each and awarded only to two suppliers.
EAMC in 2006 again procured 20 air-conditioners and 13 exhaust fans worth P450,950 again awarded to one supplier and split into two small purchases not exceeding P250,000 each.
In its decision, Ombudsman Morales said that Cortez, Calixtro and Ramos committed grave misconduct for their acts that were “blatantly irregular and outside the bounds of established rules and principles” when they opted to split the contract instead of procuring the same in a single transaction, so as to evade public bidding.
“There was lack of compelling or justifiable reason for them to split the contract… (The) respondents failed to show that they obtained three price quotations from bona fide suppliers,” the Ombudsman said.
Morales said the small-value procurement would not have been consummated without the concerted acts of the officials.
Morales said it was Cortez who approved all the purchase requests, purchase orders, disbursement vouchers and checks; Cruz who certified the availability of funds and completeness of supporting documents; and Calixtro who signed the purchase requests and counter-signed the checks.
Morales said the splitting of contracts to put the procurement projects within the threshold of P250,000 was intended to resort to small value procurement or shopping so as to avoid public bidding.
According to the Ombudsman, grave misconduct is an administrative offense of transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer, attended with the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule. JE/rga
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