The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) should not shoulder the electricity and water bills of the Manila Police District-Station 5 (MPD-S5) because doing so is illegal, state auditors said.
The observation was made in the 2015 audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the NPDC, a government agency that manages the Rizal and Paco Parks in Manila.
Upon audit of utility expenses, COA found that the NPDC paid the 2015 electricity and water consumptions, estimated at P449,638.50 and P199,006.37, respectively, of the MPD-S5 headquarters located in Rizal Park.
This arrangement, they said, “was informally forged between the two offices without any written agreement/contract executed” but in view of several considerations.
Based on the audit report, the NPDC requested MPD-S5 to provide police visibility inside Rizal Park for patrolling the area and immediately attending to complaints of park goers as well as to help the office in removing alleged illegal vendors inside the park.
The NPDC then provided an 80-sq. meter one-storey outpost with water and electricity connection to the police to be deployed by the MPD-S5.
“But upon the request of the Station Commander and concurrence by the then NPDC Director, the said office became the official headquarters of MPD-S5 sometime in 2012 as a full blown police station,” the audit report said.
Police officers slowly turned the small office into a concrete two-storey building in 2014.
The auditors also observed that while the NPDC installed a sub-meter in the police station in 2014, the agency did not maintain records of the monthly consumptions.
The audit team then recommended that the NPDC coordinate with the MPD-S5 for the payment of the station’s electricity and water expenses and to immediately serve the collection notice.
It also told the agency to require the MPD-S5 to apply for its own electricity connection with the Manila Electric Company.