Friday, June 23, 2017

Daet town officials may face graft raps



DAET, Camarines Norte (Bicol Standard)—Former Mayor Tito Sarion and other past and present local officials are on the receiving end of the continuing controversy regarding the acquisition of the Waste Diversion Scheme.

Sarion, it would be recalled, loaned P20 million from the Land Bank of the Philippines for the project located at Barangay Bibirao, this town.

The loan covered the cost of supply and installation of Fiber Reinforced Plastic Board System for non-biodegradable waste and Quick Composting System for biodegradable waste.

Furthermore, it included the technology fee of P10 million, and technical training and technology transfer fee of P550,000.00.



Controversy



The controversy stems from the alleged failure of the LGU to study and evaluate the contract properly which gave rise to irregularities and anomalies.

Regarding the project, Roberto Asistin Albia, a resident of this town, wrote to Mayor Benito Ochoa, to seek investigation on the Waste Diversion Scheme.

He (Albia) pointed out in his letter: “In the separation of the biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage alone, LGU Daet spent the amount of ELEVEN MILLION NINE HUNDRED SEVENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P11,970,000.00).

He said the purported technical training and technology transfer also allegedly did not take place.

He added that there was no negotiated procurement, which is required by Section 35.5 of the IRR of R.A. 9184.

ano ngaya ta an ecogreen valiant alternatives corporation binayadan nin P350,000 para sa training kan mga mahandle kan fiber-reinforced plastic board system

P200,000 para sa quick composting system

“And now, who will pay the loan? This town (DAET) will be left paying the P20,000,000.00 that is overpriced, worthless and useless for generations to come,” Albia wrote.

Ochoa then assured Albia: “We will exhaust all means in determining whether or not the project is tainted with anomalies and irregularities, and who should be held liable therefor.”


Explanations



Following Albia’s query, Ochoa directed all the members of the Bids and Award Committee (BAC) during the previous administration to submit their written explanation.

The former members of the Bids and Award Committee (BAC) during the previous administration are: Engr. Jesus Thomas L. Fernandez Jr., Chairman Santiago M. Mella Jr., Ronnel C. Yu, Juan L. Daria Jr., and Engr. Carmichael S. De Alva.

All the three former BAC members, except for Engr. Carmichael S. Aliva who was on official leave of absence, submitted their replies.

In their answer, they categorically stated that they all acted within the ambit of their mandate.

Meanwhile, Ramon R. Ramos, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) told Mayor Benito S. Ochoa that he could not believe what he saw when he inspected the Bibirao dumpsite.

“There was a pile of garbage so enormous that it has already reached 30 meters in height from the road level,” he said.

“It’s a terrible mess,” he added.

He (Ramos) claimed he was surprised why his name was included in the list of employees who were directed to shed light regarding the alleged anomalies, when in fact he had no involvement in the project.

Meanwhile, Daet has been repeatedly warned by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Office of the Ombudsman, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9003.

Bicol Standard's source learned that an anti-crime watchdog is now in possession of various documents regarding the alleged highly-irregular transactions involving former and incumbent town officials.

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