COA: NV purchase of P24-M cement, farm inputs ‘defective’


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – The Commission on Audit said the provincial government’s purchase of P24 million worth of construction materials and farm inputs was “defective” and did not conform to normal procurement procedures.

But Gov. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma denied irregularities in last year’s procurement of P24,247,439 worth of cement and farm inputs, saying the transactions were “aboveboard.”

The provincial government said the COA findings and recommendations would guide it to implement stricter measures in its procurement system.

According to COA, the purchase did not conform with Republic Act 9184, which governs the government’s procurement and bidding regulations, resulting in the “failure of attaining a more transparent system of procurement.”

In its report, the COA said the provincial government resorted to “direct contracting as an alternative method” in procuring the construction materials from Norma’s General Merchandise and agriculture inputs from Igorot Buying Station, “although these did not conform with any one of the conditions provided in RA 9184.”

The provincial government’s justification in procuring the items, it said, “may be applicable to certain very urgent conditions but could not be taken as a basis to circumvent the real intent of the law.”

But Cuaresma said the two dealers were also the sources of other local contractors and suppliers, and that they offered the cheapest cement and farm inputs at the time of the purchase.

She added the transactions were advantageous to the government in terms of prompt delivery.

Provincial administrator Manuel Taborra said the dealers were the only ones capable of delivering the required volume then. — CL(NorthernPhilippineTimes)

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