Billions worth of government funds went to waste early into the Aquino administration, which occupied Malacañang in 2010. A similar squandering of the people’s money, seemingly, has since been taking place, this time through the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court recently ruled as illegal.
One perfect example of funds going down the drain involved the P1 billion given by President Aquino to Gov. Roel de Gamo of Negros Oriental in 2012 for a river-dredging project in the province.
De Gamo, instead of getting local contractors so that the provincial government would be able to save money, surprisingly hired the services of Premium Construction and CTC Builders from Bicol Region.
A local contractor, who is a friend of mine but who wished not to be identified, claimed the river-dredging project was over-funded since it merely entailed removing excess sand and dirt from a waterway using a heavy equipment.
My friend explained that contractors love dredging projects since there is very minimal expense on their part. Aside from the fuel for a backhoe, the major machine used in such projects, and the daily wage of its operator, the rest of the project cost becomes the contractors’ profit.
Aside from the over-funding of the river-dredging project, a lowly official of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the bidding for the project was allegedly rigged by local officials.
My source from DBM said the sub-allotment release order (SARO), the primary requirement to initiate a bidding for any government project, had not been approved but the project was already awarded to Chinsan Ranola and Joy Clemente, owners of Premium Construction and CTC Builders, respectively.
Though the Budget department questioned the project, it was too late to stop the first tranche of payment of P500 million to the provincial government of Negros Oriental, my DBM informant said.
De Gamo and the two contractors reportedly filed a lawsuit against DBM for stopping the second payment. The case is pending in court.
Pnoy should now stop hitting the previous Arroyo administration for its wasteful spending and widespread corruption. The man no longer makes sense and starts to sound like a parrot!!!
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Inefficient PH Embassy in Italy corrupt too?
A few months ago, a group of Filipinos living in Italy complained about the alleged inefficiency of our embassy there.
Our ambassador to Rome, Virgilio Reyes, quickly denied the allegation and claimed that the complaints were made up by only a few members of the Filipino community in that country in an effort to oust him from office.
On Tuesday, Joseph Peralta came to Radyo 5 to complain about certain employees of the embassy who asked for one hundred euros from his family to fast-track the shipment of the body of his brother who died in Milan a few weeks ago.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose was surprised upon hearing about the 100 euros being asked by the embassy employees from the Peralta family.
Jose said there is no such fee that the embassy requires or should be collected especially from families of the deceased. He promised to look into the complaint right away.
So, what can you say now, Ambassador Reyes???