WHAT to do with P17 million in hand? Well, spend it all on gasoline. At least that was what Camarines Sur officials did in 2012, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
State auditors chided the provincial government of Camarines Sur after receipts showed that a whopping P17.65 million has been entirely spent on gasoline alone in 2012.
This figure is a 58-percent increase from Camarines Sur’s use of gasoline in 2011 which was at P11.16 million or a P6.49-million difference.
Verification of fuel consumption showed that in 2012 barangay visitation “of the Governor” using his Expedition (SGH-822) and three back-up vehicles, namely two Crosswings (XFS-542 and XFS-722) and a Delica (CTT-391) from January to November 2012 consumed P1.07 million of gasoline.
COA bared that these vehicles “travelled simultaneously to the same barangay with only one official passenger [in]each vehicle,” the report bared.
“Purposes of travels are not specific. Field inspections, official business and transport service are too general to be used as purposes in government travels,” the audit team disclosed.
They added that that transport service assigned at the Vice Governor’s office for vehicles with plate numbers SHJ-953 and WFK-379 were “with only one official passenger.”
In 2012, former Governor Luis “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. sat at the helm of the provincial capitol. Fortunato Peña was re-elected as vice-governor in the May 2013 elections.
Coincidentally, Villafuerte is on trial for three counts of graft before the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of P20 million of petroleum products without public bidding.
Audit disclosures also revealed that drivers’ trip tickets are not pre-numbered and that speedometers of “all vehicles are all out of order,” defeating the opportunity to record the distance traveled per ticket.
The audit team noticed that the beginning balance per tank are always the same with the balance end which is usually five or 10 liters.
“So it always follow that what was withdrawn per travel were all consumed,” auditors said.
A garbage truck with plate number XJD-614 consumed 30 liters a day for 30 days a month or a total of 900 liters in one month to dispose of garbage from the capitol area and barangays (villages) Bagong Sirang and Curry in the town of Pili.
“Daily garbage disposal for these areas may be too often, otherwise the truck may not collect garbage anymore or if ever they may not fill half of the truck,” auditors commented.
Additionally, seven generator sets at state-owned Camsur Watersports Complex villas, cabanas and trailer vans consumed 5,040 liters of diesel, amounting to P221,760 for November 16 to 30.
COA lamented that while the water sports park chugged litters of diesel “for 15 days only,” the capitol building has no generator set, which deprives government employees from performing during brown outs, if not compounding their discomfort.
The Commission reminded provincial officials that Administrative Order 103 of 2004 provides for the continued adoption and implementation of austerity measures to meet the country’s fiscal targets.
Also, auditors asked heads of government agencies that should there be any loss of government funds or properties, the high-ranking officials shall be liable for any loss even if those were committed by his subordinates, as stipulated in the Auditing Code of the Philippines.
During COA and Camarines Sur officials’ exit conference the capitol said that ‘the material increase in the gasoline consumption” of the province was because of the barangay visitations of the governor.
Management simply said that 80 percent of the barangays in Camarines Sur were visited during the year. JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON