june 19, 2014
Dept. of Works and Public Highways- XI Regional Director Mariano Alquiza said yesterday, Wednesday that there is “no record” that the 12 contractors identified by Commission on Audit Chair Ma. Gracia Pulido as having fraudulently cornered P16.9-billion worth of projects had transacted with the regional office.
The projects cornered by the 12 contractors were implemented during the years 2009 and 2010 in various provinces and regions in the country with Davao Region mentioned as having the biggest amount of disallowance with projects totaling P121.18 million.
Alquiza said in a press conference at the DPWH-XI regional office said that he only knew in newspaper last Monday the report on the disallowance of the projects transacted by the 12 contractors tagged by COA as fraudulent.
“After which,” he added, “I instructed my accountant to validate the report if they transacted” with the regional office.
He said “wala dito sa (level) ng regional office, although I have asked (my) district engineers to validate the report.”
He added that he understood that Secretary Rogelio Singson would be sending a special audit team considering the gravity of the works in looking into the records that had transpired since 2009 and up to 2013.
Alquiza assumed to his current post only in 2012.
COA Chair Pulido last week bared that her agency had issued notices of disallowance for projects worth P184.66 million following earlier findings on irregularities involving the projects which public works Secretary Singson had earlier asked for special audit.
The report said that of the total, only P17.8 million had been refunded.
Moreover, DPWH-XI information office Dennis Flores also said that as verified also by the monitoring engineer “we have no project with the contractors in the list although we’re not discounting the findings of COA.”
Tan vowed to finish the special fraud audit by the end of the year and forward the findings to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Among the COA’s general findings were excessive contract costs; excessive material costs and quantities of materials procured, some of which were not used; implementation of projects without a funding order; and improper procurement and bidding processes, such as the release of bidding documents even before the contractors had paid for these.
Another projects have no genuine and meticulous post-qualification assessment, notices of award before the receipt of the special allotment release order (SARO), otherwise they have bidding deficiencies, unauthorized signatories, no bids and awards committee (BAC) resolution declaring the lowest calculated bid, among others.
Morever, a fraudulent project was found to have defects that included cracks on the concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter; collapsed sidewalks; presence of potholes and poke marks on the concrete pavement; and settlement of the gutter and concrete curb, and the like. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)