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Savings in Provincial Government
« on: October 21, 2016, 10:06:28 AM »
The provincial government had savings, the chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee said in disclaiming what was reported in this paper that the total cost of the controversial air-con project for the Bohol Cultural Center “overshot” the original agency estimate.

Atty. Handel Lagunay, the provincial legal officer and concurrently BAC chairman, bared to the public Friday over Capitol’s regular radio program Governor’s Report, that the expenditure for the project only cost P3,401,006 rendering a savings of P346,994 from its original budget of P3,748,000.

It could not be verified where Lagunay got the figures since records from the General Services Office revealed that as of last week collection of vouchers, the actual expenditure of the project had reached P3,757,669 higher by P9,669 from the original estimated amount.

The figures obtained by the Bohol Standard were jointly reviewed by GSO acting head Engr. Rosalinda Yu and technical assistant Engr. Eustaquio Caliao.

This does not include incidental expenditures like honoraria, plane tickets, hotel and accommodation for BAC members who personally went to Manila getting quotations of pre-selected bidders adopting a direct canvass or limited source bidding.

The new revelations also exposed an advance payment of P1.3-million made by the provincial government to the Salcon firm Bohol Light Company Inc. for purchase of heavy load transformers and new service drop lines.

Lagunay said the P1.3-million will eventually be reverted to the government by deductions in the monthly bills of the electric consumption of the cultural center.

Knee-jerk explanation
Lawyer Lagunay said that the decision of BAC to cancel the mandated open competitive public bidding was not a “knee-jerk” reaction.

It was prompted by reports that there was collusion in the proposed air-con project and that it was already a done deal in favor of a local supplier.

The BAC chairman added that one interested local supplier disclosed that he was discouraged by a GSO official not to participate anymore for it (the project) has already been given to another supplier.

Former GSO chief Engr. Edwin Vallejos categorically denied the allegation in an interview with Kagawad Batchoy Alba and Chito Visarra on DyRD’s top-rated morning program PULSO.

“That could not be possible since the invitation to bid was published and posted in Capitol bulletin boards. Besides, it is not GSO that facilitates the bidding, it is the BAC Secretariat,” Vallejos clarified.

Investigation
Admitting it was unfortunate that he was not able to complete the investigation on the alleged collusion after it was overtaken by other issues, Lagunay announced that he has yielded to the suggestion of PULSO for an independent team to finally conclude the probe.

“Aron malikayan ang pagduda ug para sad dili bias, I will no longer handle the investigation. Resident Ombudsman Atty. Thaddeus Jose Acero and the Internal Audit Service headed by Jerome Maniwang will jointly do the job,” he said.

“I will turn over all documents regarding the controversy after the Governor issues the appropriate memorandum,” Lagunay publicly gave the assurance.

Published on Oct 15, 2006 by The Bohol Standard Newspaper

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