3 NIA execs in Bukidnon ordered sacked for bidding irregularities
DAVAO CITY – Three officials of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Bukidnon were ordered sacked by the Ombudsman over bidding irregularities in connection with fertilizer purchases amounting to over P9.4 million in 2009.
In a media statement on Friday, the Ombudsman said it has ordered the dismissal from the service of NIA-Bukidnon division manager Editha Abdon, administrative and finance head Adelina Calonge and principal engineer Leonila Tenestrante.
The dismissal order was based on gross neglect of duty in connection with the implementation of the P10 million fund NIA Bukidnon got in June 2009 for the implementation of the Department of Agriculture’s bio-organic fertilizer program.
The Ombudsman said that out of the fund, NIA paid three suppliers for its purchase “thousands of bags/liters of organic fertilizers and pesticides.”
“It was uncovered that the suppliers failed to meet the required product specifications and quality standards; projects were awarded without the benefit of public bidding; supplier 3K is a business firm owned by Regina Salazar, wife of then NIA Administrator Carlos Salazar; there was splitting of projects; and no post-qualification proceedings were undertaken to ensure the capability of the suppliers to undertake the project,” the Ombudsman said.
Despite this, the Ombudsman said that Abdon and Calonge certified the supporting documents for the initial disbursements as complete even if it was not the case.
Tenestrante, on the other hand, failed to conduct “real post-qualification of (supplier) MLB as required by Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act).”
“As there was no justification for the resort to shopping, not to mention the apparent splitting of the P9,477,200.00, Abdon should not have permitted the disbursements from the fund. The same is true with respect to Calonge. As such Head, she also allowed this disbursement notwithstanding the lack of public bidding,” the Ombudsman added.
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