State auditors have told the Quirino District Engineering Office (DEO) to justify why payments on completed infrastructure projects funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund were made despite the issued temporary restraining order (TRO) and Supreme Court (SC) decision on PDAF.
This recommendation was made in a 2013 audit report on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) by the Commission on Audit (COA) under its findings on compliance with the High Tribunal ruling.
“In our audit of PDAF disbursements in Quirino DEO, we noted that there were payments on infrastructure projects made after the issuance of the TRO on September 10, 2013,” state auditors said.
Based on the audit report, a total of P18.65 million was paid between October 21, 2013 and November 19, 2013.
The projects include the construction of a multi-purpose building at Ponggo High School in Nagtipunan, a multi-purpose building (gym) at Dipintin High School in Maddela as well as the completion of the multi-purpose buildings in Aurora East in Diffun, in Cabarroguis and in Aglipay. The contractor for the projects was NTL Builders and Developer.
Also among the projects were the construction of a multi-purpose building at Villa Santiago in Aglipay and the completion of a multi-purpose building (gym) in Saguday. The contractor for both projects was EPN Builders and Developer.
Further included were two projects involving the improvement/concreting of roads, where APD Construction was the contractor and; a project for the rehabilitation of water system at Diffun High School the contractor was 3K Rock Engineering.
Auditors also found that unused PDAF in Batanes DEO were not returned.
“Moreover, unobligated and undisbursed PDAF in the amount of P46.52 million in Batanes DEO were not reverted contrary to the aforementioned SC decision,” state auditors said.
The High Tribunal decision on November 19, 2013 stated remaining PDAF funds covered by the permanent injunction must be returned to the unappropriated surplus of the general fund.
“We recommended that Management of Quirino DEO submit a written justification why payments were made despite the TRO and SC Decision, otherwise, the same shall be disallowed in audit. We also recommended that Batanes DEO revert all unutilized PDAF to the Unappropriated Surplus of the General Fund pursuant to the SC Decision,” state auditors said.