As it was found out by the Tribune last week, it was to Cong. Hector Sanchez that the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) provincial office appealed for help in facilitating the inclusion of the towns of Virac, Sanm Miguel, Bagamanoc and Caramoran in the list of municipalities to be given new fire trucks by the national government through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2019.
In the light of the recent fire incident in Virac that killed a family of four, the congressman’s apparent neglect in following up matter could have been a big issue against him in the forthcoming campaign.
It turns out now that it was not Sanchez’s fault at all that the four fire trucks requested by BFP were not delivered after three years.
No less than the Commission on Audit (COA) has found out that the BFP has “parked” a total of P4.1 billion of its own funds with the graft-ridden the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) and the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC).
The funds transferred during the period 2015-2018 were supposed to be for the purchase of various firefighting equipment and supplies, including nearly 200 fire trucks and aerial ladders, fire hoses, smoke ejectors, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and rescue cutting devices, communications equipment, firefighters’ coats and trousers, nozzles, fire gloves, helmets, coats and trousers, and boots, among others.
According to the same audit report, the firefighting equipment and firefighting gear procured through PS-DBM and PITC for the past three to eight years have remained undelivered.
On another matter, a FICELCO official recently disclosed that the supposed ‘donation’ of radio communications equipment by the congressman to the cooperative for use in reducing power outages was not realized.
It may be recalled that during Sanchez’s UIat sa Distrito in October 2021, it was erroneously announced by the emcee that the solon would be turning over the equipment as a “donation” to FICELCO, with the radios actually brought to Marinawa thereafter.
Sometime later, a representative of the supplier reportedly went to the cooperative and brought a statement of account for about P500,00 covering the purchase of the equipment.
Naturally, the cooperative declined to pay for the radios, as it had no allocation in its budget.
This corner sought clarification from Cong. Sanchez, who stated that he never said he would donate the equipment.
The congressman’s claim is backed by the minutes of the Oct. 13, 2021 meeting between him, FICELCO, NPC and SUWECO officials, the story of which came out in the following issue of the Tribune.
Indeed, the minutes showed that Sanchez promised to lend money at no interest for the provision of the modern communications equipment equipped with GPS.
No less than the cooperative general manager suggested that the 50-50 sharing between FICELCO and SUWECO over the cost of the radios.
A second batch of linemen has departed the island for Bohol, where they will replace the first batch of FICELCO personnel working with BOHECO II in the rehabilitation of power lines downed by typhoon Odette.
THE RABBIT. A man comes home from work one day to find his dog with the neighbor’s pet rabbit in his mouth.
The rabbit is very dead and the guy panics.
He thinks the neighbors are going to hate him forever, so he takes the dirty, chewed-up rabbit into the house, gives it a bath, blow-dries its fur, and puts the rabbit back into the case at the neighbor’s house, hoping that they will think it died of natural causes.
A few days later, the neighbor is outside and asks the guy, “Did you hear that Fluffy died?”
The guy stumbles around and says, “What happened?”
The neighbor replies, “We just found him dead in his cage one day, but the weird thing is that the day after we buried him we went outside and someone had dug him up, gave him a bath and put him back into the cage. There must be some real sick people out there!”