House to probe P80-M overpriced oil spill equipment, alleged 'ghost' purchases of lighthouse spare parts

February 8, 2012 11:11 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 8 — The committee on good government and public accountability of the House of Representatives is set to investigate on the alleged billion pesos worth of lighthouse spare parts and oil spill equipment acquired by the previous administration and said to be excessive, overpriced and illegal.

In its hearing on Tuesday, the committee agreed to acquire jurisdiction over House Resolution 1640, authored by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casino.

Casino, in his resolution, claimed that the Department of Transportations and Communications' (DoTC) purchase of P719,562,860 worth of lighthouse spare parts and P319 million worth of oil spill equipment in 2009 was "excessive, irregular and illegal" and should be investigated by Congress for possible malfeasance and misfeasance.

He said that the P319 million worth of Marine Environmental Protection Equipment (MEPE) alone appeared to be overpriced by P77,319,500.00 as observed by the Commission on Audit (CoA) in its March 22, 2011 Audit Observation Memorandum.

"From a unit price of P48,386,100 per lot as provided by the Coast Guard, the approved budget for the contract ballooned to P63,850,000 per lot. The DoTC eventually purchased only five instead of eight sets of MEPE," the Bayan Muna party-list solon said.

He said the House committee on good government and public accountability will also be looking into the prices of the other items that may have been overpriced by 40-50 percent.

Casino also said that in his earlier visit to the DoTC stockroom in Ortigas Ave., some P260 million worth of lighthouse spare parts remained unopened and unused for the last two years.

He said this only proved that the DoTC had purchased too much for the needs of the Coast Guard.

"It seems that the DoTC bought so much equipment for the Coast Guard to handle. Sobra-sobra na, napakamahal pa," he noted.

Meanwhile, the House committee will be inviting to its next hearing former DoTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza and DoTC Assistant secretary Dante Lantin, incumbent DoTC Secretary Mar Roxas, and other DoTC officials.

The committee also requested for the appearance of former Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Wilfredo Tamayo, current PCG Commandant Admiral Ramon Liwag, as well as the owner of Berlyn-Cresencio Devilles-Arcena and RH Lopez-Ms.Ramona Henarez Lopez in next hearing. (PNA)

DCT/LGI

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