• Immigration ordered to pay P4M

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    THE Commission on Audit ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to pay a janitorial agency nearly P5 million for its service that was left unpaid.

    In an eight-page decision, the Audit agency ordered the BI to pay Excellent Building Care and General Services Inc. after its money claim showed that the agency indeed rendered its service.

    The company was left unpaid because of Justice Sec. Leila de Lima’s refusal to act on the agreement of BI and the company because the bidding invitation for janitorial service was not posted on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System.

    Immigration commissioner Ricardo David asked for a reconsideration, which de Lima denied. David however said that the company already started its janitorial services and asked the Justice chief for instruction.

    De Lima said that David should take the claim of compensation of Excellent to the Audit commission.

    Ruling on the matter, the Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan and commissioner Heidi Mendoza upheld the claim of the company on grounds of quantum meruit.

    Quantum meruit refers to the judicial doctrine that allows a party to recover losses in the absence of an agreement or binding contract in case a transaction has gone awry.

    “[Excellent] can claim and demand payment based on quantum meruit inasmuch as it rendered actual services to BI,” the decision stated.

    However, the Commission lowered the claims of Excellent from P6.07 million to P4.85 million because the company did not submit any evidence other than the statement of accounts.

    “The Commission cannot make a computation on something which was not sufficiently proved and established,” the Commission ruled.

    Instead, it based the money claim of Excellent on the actual janitorial services of the company which was stipulated in a bids and award committee resolution of the BI.

    Also, the Audit agency noticed that it was the Immigration that supplied the materials for the janitors, a cost that had to be deducted from the amount of claim.

    “All told, justice and equity demand payment of the instant claim based on the principle of quantum meruit inasmuch as Excellent rendered actual services to BI,” the decision said in closing.

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