Rust eats away P1.4M in gov’t arsenal

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MORE than 7,000 pieces of steel bars worth about P1.4 million are rusting away inside the Government Arsenal which the Commission on Audit said should be disposed of for additional income.

In the latest report of state auditors on the country’s repository and production hub of arsenal and military equipment, the Commission said the Arsenal agency had been keeping in its warehouse a total of 7,232 pieces of steel bars, ammutite, carbon steel and copper.

The audit team found out the purchase dates of these building materials date back to the latter years of 1970s and 1990s.

“[These steel bars that] remained idle for several years were stained and corroded and not yet disposed contrary to the manual on disposal of government property,” the audit team noted.

By tally, auditors uncovered 5,346 pieces of KNL round bar of different sizes, 1,479 pieces of VCL round bars, 353 pieces of ammutite and 54 pieces of assab, all worth P1.44 million.

They added that the wasted materials could no longer be used or re-used because “they will entail additional cost” just for those to fit the current size requirements, considering that the metals are either oversized or undersized.

The Commission pointed to the excess stock of steel bars was a result of “overstocking of supplies and materials during the previous years.”

Despite government rules that allow agencies to dispose of their assets when they could no longer be used, the Commission said that the Arsenal did not do anything about the metals which resulted in rusting and corrosion.

“These steel bars were procured more than thirty years ago, and stored in a place which could have been utilized for other useful purposes. These are resource materials in amount, which have been idle for more than three decades,” the auditors said.

They added that additional income could have been derived in disposing of the unused steel bars given that the Commission has already raised the issue since 2008.

Auditors asked the Arsenal agency to once and for all disposal of the idle raw materials.

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