Baras LGU’s negotiated purchase
of P5.8-M in goods without basis?

2020 COA Annual Audit Reports

The propriety of P5.8-million in disbursements from the Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities (BCGM) released to the Baras local government last year could not be determined in the absence of proof that the required price negotiation was conducted.
This was stressed by the Commission on Audit in its report issued recently on transactions of the Baras LGU for calendar year 2020.
From the P6.74 million in BGCM funds received by the town, a total of P5.8 million were spent for the procurement of commercial rice and other food supplies, medicine and medical supplies, PPEs and construction materials.
These include P2.5 million paid to CTL Trading and P2.08 million for Ebay Sorrera Store, both for commercial rice; P492,920 paid to Nicon Services Corp. for food supplies; P236,750 and P304,750 for Precious Marian Pharmacy for medicines, PPEs and medical supplies; and, P176,980 to MN General Merchandise for construction supplies and materials.
Auditors pointed out that Section 5 of Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) Circular 01-2020 providing guidelines for emergency procurement under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act states that procuring entities shall negotiate for the most advantageous price to the government based on the agency’s existing price data or that of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), or a preliminary market scanning done by the agency showing prevailing market price and practice.
“Audit of the Disbursement Vouchers (DVs) disclosed that the procurement did not specify the basis of the negotiated prices of the aforecited procured goods,” the COA said.
‘Thus, it was not determined whether the LGU had conducted the required price negotiation in accordance with Section 5 of GPPB Circular 01-2020, thereby affecting the propriety of disbursements made from the BGCM Fund amounting to P5.8 million,” it added.
During the exit conference, the Bids and Awards Committee chairman agreed with the audit observation and committed to comply with the COA’s recommendation that the proof of compliance be submitted.
In another significant audit finding, the release of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) assistance by the LGU was not performed adequately and properly.
The audit team’s conclusion was based on an analysis of the Social Amelioration Cards (SACs), IDs and payrolls of 290 beneficiaries, out of the 1,654 families provided with the P8.27 million in funds.
It noted that most of the SACs were not completely filled-up, while vital information were missing from the cards.
From the sample 290 beneficiaries, the inventory found 18 families with members who were contracted government workers in the barangays and municipality, as well as 16 with members who were private employees.
Comparison of signatures in the payrolls, SACs and the ID photocopies showed that 115 signatures in the payrolls appeared not the same with the signatures in SACs while the IDs had no specimen signatures. Four family beneficiaries used thumb marks in the SACs and ID but a signature in the payroll or vice versa.\
The audit team recommended that the MSWDO facilitate the complete filling-up of SAC forms of all paid beneficiaries, identify ineligible beneficiaries and have them refund the benefit, and ensure strict compliance with the guidelines.
It likewise found out that an ineligible expenditure was charged to the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF), particularly its 70% Mitigation fund.
It said that the amount of P78,970.00 was used to provide supplies and materials and honorarium during the Peñafancia fluvial procession, Baras town fiesta parade, surfing competition and other events.
Such activities, the team stated, did not support disaster risk management activities contrary to an existing joint circular, and this exhausted the funds intended to support DRM activities.
The COA, however, commended the LGU for substantially implementing programs, projects and activities under the 20% Development Fund, with 21 projects implemented as of yearend. This represented 81 percent of the total funding, with only five not implemented or delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions

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