Isabela faces query over P10-M project


THE Commission on Audit (COA) wanted to know from officials of Isabela province what happened to the roll-on, roll-off (roro) project they entered with the North Eastern Pacific Coastal Service Inc. way back in 2003.

State auditors noticed that the P10-million infrastructure project was already delayed for 10 years and since then, nothing has yet happened.

In its report on the province, government accountants disclosed that P2.5 million from its general fund and P7.5 million from its 20 percent development fund was paid to the Pacific Coastal Services, a government-owned and -controlled company, as early as 2003.

“However, this project has not been implemented,” the report read, referring to the nautical highway project where ships carry wheeled cargoes that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels.

When the Commission asked Isabela officials regarding the stalled Ro-Ro project, they said in an exit conference, the Pacific Coastal “is very active.”

“The corporation is very active. The governors of the provincial local government units and the Administrator of CEZA [Cagayan Economic Zone Authority], who composed the board of directors, meet regularly,” the report noted.

The Pacific Coastal is cooperation between the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.

Isabela officals added that there is a Vessel Purchase Agreement entered into by the Pacific Coastal with Stoneworks Specialist International Corporation.

One of the vessels is 100 percent completed and ready for delivery by the supplier and the second is nearing completion, Isabela officials commented.

However, when auditors issued a separate report on Pacific Coastal, they found out that since its inception in January 2004, the company “has not yet grown.”

“After nine years of creation, the Pacific Coastal Service has not yet commenced operations . . . As such, for 2012, there were no operational activities undertaken,” auditors said.

The Commission pointed to, among others, change in government administration and the corporate leadership as a result of the national and local elections.

COA said that the company experienced almost a flat line in its financial position as its interest income only registered at P151,225, which is P17,169 lower than the previous year.

In closing, state auditors asked the Isabela officials to submit periodic status and monitoring report on the P10-million investment “to ensure the viability of the invested funds as well as the assurance of the return of investment.”


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