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Philippines News

Nigeria's former treasury head jailed in $262-M fraud case

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 12:00

KANO, Nigeria - The former head of Nigeria's Treasury was remanded Friday for his alleged involvement in diverting more than 109 billion Nigerian nairas (USD262 million).

Justice Adeyemi Ajayi gave the order after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicted Ahmad Idris on a 1

Categories: Philippines News

Cloudy Sunday due to easterlies; LPA spotted off N. Luzon

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 11:08

MANILA - The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

PAGASA weather specialist Sumuel Duran said the LPA, located 1,775 kilometers east of extreme Norther

Categories: Philippines News

DOH says country has ready response for monkeypox

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 11:02

MANILA -Refusing to be caught flat-footed, the Department of Health (DOH) and its partners have been preparing for the monkeypox virus ever since an uptick in cases was reported in other countries in May 2022.

This, as World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebre

Categories: Philippines News

PBBM's drug war: Shifting focus but no softening

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 11:00

MANILA - Before handing over the presidency to Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., former president Rodrigo Duterte has a clear wish for the new leader -- to continue the government's no-nonsense anti-drug campaign.

In an earlier interview, Marcos said Duterte advised him to sustain the campaign

Categories: Philippines News

WHO declares monkeypox a global health emergency

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 10:13

GENEVA - The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday declared monkeypox a global health emergency, its highest alert level for a disease.

WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said the decision has been made despite an advisory body's failure to agree on the designation.

With nine members of

Categories: Philippines News

PBBM vision: A digital Philippines

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 07:31

#PBBMSONA2022

MANILA - The pandemic has highlighted the vital role of digital ecosystems in the efficient delivery of services as demand for connectivity rises.

Many brick-and-mortar stores and offices that failed to adapt to the digital world struggled, or even shuttered during the pandemic, while those that turned online found themselves viable, and others, thrived.<

Categories: Philippines News

Bongbong Marcos vision: A digital Philippines

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 07:31
#PBBMSONA2022

MANILA - The pandemic has highlighted the vital role of digital ecosystems in the efficient delivery of services as demand for connectivity rises.

Many brick-and-mortar stores and offices that failed to adapt to the digital world struggled, or eve

Categories: Philippines News

Rewriting history: Media promote, counter Marcos propaganda

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 02:13

POLITICAL PROPAGANDA takes all forms. The Marcoses have always used the circus elements of politics to manipulate and control the public mind. Mainstream media need to understand that their coverage even of entertainment can promote lies, betraying the purpose of press freedom and its constitutional protection.

The movie, "Maid in Malacanang", scheduled to screen early next month, is the latest example of this st

Categories: Philippines News

VERA Files calls attention to DA's revival of Marcos Jr.'s failed project in Ilocos Norte

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 02:13

PEOPLE WONDERED why Ferdinand Marcos Jr. decided to take over as Secretary of Agriculture, which he announced on June 20. Most news organizations seemed to have missed one reason revealed by the recently re-elected Governor of Ilocos Norte who is also the President's nephew.

Cheers to VERA Files for its in-depth

ICICI Bank's gross NPA ratio declines to 3.41 per cent

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 00:55
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 23 (ANI): India's second-largest private sector lender ICICI Bank on Saturday reported an improvement in its asset quality with gross non-performing asset (NPA) declining to 3.41 per cent as of June 30, 2022, as compared to 5.15 per cent recorded on the same date last year. The bank's gross NPA stood at 3.60 per cent on March 31, 2022. ICICI Bank's net NPA ratio declined to 0.70 per cent
Categories: Philippines News

Philippines logs 3,604 new COVID-19 cases

Philippines Times - Sun, 2022-07-24 00:55
Manila [Philippines], July 23 (ANI/Xinhua): The Philippines reported 3,604 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, the highest since Feb. 12, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the country to 3,748,979. The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases rose to 25,743. The DOH said 14 more people died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the country's death toll to 60,670. Of the total tally, 1,324 new cas
Categories: Philippines News

COA: Cebu City’s P383M garbage collection deal ‘irregular’

Cebu Sun.Star - Sat, 2022-07-23 21:57
SOME Cebu City officials may face a disallowance for the payment of P81 million to two contractors for the hauling of the city’s garbage, which state auditors said was an “irregular” deal.

The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the P383.5 million contract between the Cebu City Government and Docast Construction and JJ & J Construction and General Supply for the collection of garbage in 2021.

In its audit report, state auditors said they found several indications of irregularities in the joint venture agreement between the City and the two firms, prompting Mayor Michael Rama to follow up with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 his request to investigate the firms for alleged plunder and their involvement in the city’s garbage management.

“I want to talk to NBI on Monday as it has been a while since I heard from them concerning my request for investigation,” Rama told SunStar Cebu Saturday, July 23, 2022.

State auditors said they spotted several irregularities in the transaction, pointing out that the firms started hauling garbage even though the city’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) had yet to conduct post qualification.

Docast and JJ & J also failed to secure a BAC declaration that they are qualified to provide the garbage hauling service.

State auditors recommended to the City to direct the BAC to submit lacking documents and to explain why they recommended to award the contract to the two firms despite “glaring grounds” that would disqualify them as contractors.

Requirements not met

State auditors said they deemed other deficiencies in the City’s deal with the two firms as indications of irregularity.

First, they found that Docast and JJ & J’s ownership and structure did not meet the City’s requirement, and were therefore ineligible to provide the service.

The City required the potential bidder, whether joint venture or a joint venture corporation, to have a collective authorized capital stock of not less than the approved budget for the contract of the project.

Though Docast and JJ & J were able to form a joint venture on January 21, 2021, they both do not have authorized capital stocks that could qualify them as a corporation.

“These conditions would have already disqualified the contractors/ joint venture during the bid evaluation under the non-discretionary “pass/fail” criteria on January 28, 2021 pursuant to the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Law),” state auditors added.

Not hauling

According to the City’s invitation to bid and other documents gathered by COA, the City had required interested bidders to have a primary purpose in logistics, trucking, collection and/or hauling services.

But auditors found that both firms’ primary business appeared to be focused on construction and general supply rather than on logistics or hauling services, which was not in accordance with the City’s Terms of Reference (TOR).

State auditors confirmed this after securing the two firms’ business registration that was certified by the Department of Trade of Industry (DTI).

Auditors, though, were able to secure the business permits of the two firms issued by the Lapu-Lapu City Government, which showed that Docast was engaged in hauling services and the supply of construction materials, while JJ & J was engaged as a general contractor.

“But for purposes of determining the kind of business it is authorized to engage in, it is understood that the one appearing in the document issued by the SEC or in the DTI, as the case may be, is controlling because it is this document that gives birth to the legal personality of a juridical person,” state auditors added.

COA also learned that the two firms were engaged in several government construction projects, which further proves that they were not qualified as hauler or in the trucking business, as required by City Hall.

State auditors also found that the two firms didn’t meet the requirements of the City in terms of the location of their motor pool.

According to the City’s TOR, the bidder must possess “a property of not less than one hectare in land area that is suitable as a motor pool. The property should be within the territorial jurisdiction of Cebu City and must be located in an area with light to moderate habitation at the time of bidding.”

But according to a site inspection report of the city’s Department of Public Services (DPS) dated January 21, 2021, Docast’s motor pool is in Barangay Calawisan, Lapu-Lapu City.

No post qualification

State auditors also found that while the contract for the hauling service was finalized on March 8, 2021, the two firms reportedly started collecting and hauling garbage as early as January 29 of the same year when post-qualification activities by the BAC’s Technical Working Group had not started yet. Post-qualification began on January 31, 2021 and ended on February 9 of the same year.

State auditors found that the City’s first billing covered the services rendered from January 29, 2021 to March 6 of the same year amounting to P80.9 million.

In a random check of the trip summary of the two firms’ trucks, auditors also found that the Tare weight, or the weight of an empty vehicle, varied significantly even on the same day.

Though the City justified that the collection and disposal of garbage is a basic service that cannot be neglected, COA argued it should not be done at the expense of the law.

Due to these lapses, state auditors said a notice of disallowance may be issued for the first payment of P80.9 million to the two firms.

In a lengthy reply to COA on March 28, 2022, the former BAC chairperson for Goods and Services defended the awarding of the contract to the two firms.

According to the official, Docast is a legitimate and existing contractor of the City Government. He noted that prior to this particular procurement, Cebu City had awarded three purchase orders (PO) to Docast Construction for solid waste collection in 2020 through open and competitive bidding.

“However, in these POs, the Terms of Reference were silent as to the ownership, purpose and capitalization requirement. Hence, during the opening of bids, the BAC was not made aware of these additional requirements,” the official told the auditors.

The official said the two firms were able to qualify for the contract based on the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Procurement of Goods as stated in RA 9184, as they were able to comply with legal documents such as DTI and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration for sole proprietorship, mayor’s business permit and tax clearance.

The official argued that while the two firms were not a corporation, a sole proprietorship was still eligible to participate in the bidding for the supply of goods under the 2016 Revised IRR.

The official said it would have been “unconscionable and inexcusable” for the BAC to disqualify Docast and award the contract to another firm that offered a higher bid.

Rejoinder

In a rejoinder, state auditors said the BAC erred in assuming that the contractor’s eligibility requirements are limited only to those requirements expressly provided under RA 9184.

They added that the BAC has no discretion or authority to brush aside certain eligibility requirements as they wish.

On the issue of bid proposal, state auditors agree that while Docast provided the lower bid compared to the competing firm, the issue is the former’s qualification.
Categories: Philippines News

Many fail to sign up on last day of registration

Cebu Sun.Star - Sat, 2022-07-23 21:46
AS THE voter registration period for the December 5 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls ended, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, July 23, 2022, sought understanding from those who were not able to sign up.

Acting Comelec Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said they hope the public will understand why the deadline had to be set on July 23, just three weeks after it opened.

"To our countrymen that failed to get registered for this voter registration period, we appeal for your understanding," said Laudiangco.

He said the commission had to contend with provisions of the law, which prohibits any voter registration activities 120 days before an election, which falls on August 7, 2022.

Laudiangco said that aside from receiving applications, the commission is also expected to complete the posting of the list of applicants, hold Election Registration Board (ERB) hearings, subject all applications to the automated fingerprint identification system, and approve the project of precincts.

"We need to impose such a deadline so that we can still have enough time to complete the process of registration in accordance with the law," Laudiangco said in a statement.

He vowed that the Comelec will evaluate the conduct of the voter registration to ensure a better process in the next one.

This includes the selection of better venues and the queueing process for voter registration activities.

"The public can be assured that we will continuously assess and evaluate our entire registration process," said Laudiangco.

On Saturday, July 23, the Comelec was expected to close the three-week voter registration period for the village and youth polls.

Data from the Comelec- Election and Barangay Affairs Department showed that there were 2,334,406 new registrants nationwide as of July 21.

There were 1,456,699 applicants aged 15 to 17 years old (SK voters); 752,819 applicants aged 18 to 30 years old (both SK and regular voters); and124,888 applicants who are 31 years old and above (regular voters).

In Lapu-Lapu City, some 2,000 individuals went to City Hall to catch the last day of voter registration on Saturday.

But many of them were not able to do so since the Comelec in Lapu-Lapu City catered only to those who were in the poll office in the upper floor by 4 p.m.

Police Staff Sergeant Benonie Arresgado, beat patroller of the City Mobile Force Company (CMFC), said as early as 5 a.m., there was already a long queue of registrants, including those who were not able to make it to the cut-off time on Friday.

Arresgado said some of them slept outside City Hall on Friday evening in order to be accommodated early.

Lawyer Janet Lamban, the election officer in Lapu-Lapu City, said their system will automatically shut off at 5 p.m.

Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano also told SunStar Cebu that Comelec offices, including offsite offices, will have to close by 5 p.m.

In Cebu City, registrants complained about the misleading registration form distribution in one of the malls where the registration was held.

Tension arose when some registrants from the north and south district claimed that a Comelec official gave them the wrong registration form.

The commotion led to the delay of the registration process. By 7 p.m., some of the applicants who had been there since 8 a.m. still have not made it to the photo capture and precinct number assignment.

An applicant from Barangay Tisa claimed that when applicants started to fall in line in the morning, a Comelec official had been going around distributing a blank yellow form, which the official said the registrants (both new and existing) from the north district needed to fill up.

But minutes before the cut-off at 1 p.m., another Comelec official reportedly told them that they got the wrong form and that they would not be entertained.

The Comelec officials who administered the registration did not comment on the allegations and instead tried expediting the registration process to accommodate more applicants. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)/ MKG / HIC)
Categories: Philippines News

SSS visits 8 firms in Mandaue that failed to remit contributions

Cebu Sun.Star - Sat, 2022-07-23 21:29
AT LEAST eight companies in Mandaue City have been visited by personnel from the Social Security System in Central Visayas (SSS 7) for their ongoing Run After Contribution Evaders (Race) campaign on Friday, July 22, 2022.

Alberto Montalbo, SSS 7 vice president, and lawyer Marie Ann B. Chavez, head of the SSS 7’s legal department, said their visit intends to remind companies to pay their pending SSS contributions on or before the given grace period to avoid legal consequences.

Montalbo said companies they visited in Mandaue City comprised construction, metal fabrication, export and transportation companies.

Pandemic blamed

Some firms cited to have failed to remit their employees’ SSS contributions blamed the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Montalbo said SSS launched the Pandemic Relief and Restructuring Program (PRRP), which ended in May this year, that provided companies, especially those affected by the pandemic, options to either pay their contributions excluding the penalties or pay in installments.

But he said these companies failed to grab the opportunity provided by the program.

Those visited were given 15 calendar days starting Saturday, July 23, to settle their disputes, which had no more extensions.

Penalty for non-compliance

If they fail to comply within the deadline, a case for violating the Social Security Law will be filed against them, which entails six years of imprisonment and bail of about P36,000, said Chavez.

SSS is bound to collect about P2.9 million worth of missed contributions from these companies, which will benefit around 40 to 50 employees.

Categories: Philippines News

Pael faces former world title contender Heno

Cebu Sun.Star - Sat, 2022-07-23 21:16
CEBU-BASED journeyman Renoel Pael looks to upset former world title challenger Eduard Heno in a 10-round bout on Aug. 5 at the Yñares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

“We’re not sure if we will win. What’s certain though is that Pael will give him a good fight,” Noy Pacing Flores (NPF) Boxing Academy head coach Brix Flores told SunStar Cebu.

Pael and Heno are both coming off long layoffs.

Pael last saw action on Nov. 9, 2019 in Japan. He lost to Japanese veteran Tatsuya Takahashi via a close split decision.

Pael has been training hard at the NPF Boxing Academy and has been mainly sparring with prospect Justine Darap, who’s also set to fight in the same event against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

“He’s been sparring with our amateurs and Justine,” said Flores.

Heno, on the other hand, is also returning after a three-year absence from boxing.

Heno’s last fight was his world title fight against then World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Elwin Soto in Indio, California. He lost to Soto by a closely-contested unanimous decision.

Heno is a former Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) light flyweight titleholder and owns wins over former world champion Merlito Sabillo and Jesse Espinas.

Pael is 23-11-1 with 12 knockouts, while Heno is 14-1-5 with five knockouts.

Ex-world champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15-5, 32 KOs) is out to prove that he still has a lot left in the tank as he takes on a much younger opponent in undefeated up-and-comer RV Deniega (6-0, 3 KOs) in a 10-round co-headliner.

The 40-year-old Jaro returns to the ring after a three-year hiatus. He lost his last fight in 2019, a seventh round technical knockout in the hands of former world title contender Nawaphon Kaikanha.

The 22-year-old Deniega is one of the promising fighters from the Sanman Gym of Gen. Santos City. He’s out to prove that he’s the real deal and a win over a decorated fighter like Jaro should be good for his resume.

Jaro, the one-time World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight champion, is 45-15-5 with 32 knockouts, while Deniega is 6-0 with three knockouts.

In the undercard, undefeated 22-year-old prospect Weljon Mindoro (7-0, 7 KOs) trades leathers with experienced former regional champion Jason Egera (24-24-3, 11 KOs), Lloyd Jardeliza (8-12-4, 6 KOs) squares off with Junjie Lauza (6-29-2, 1 KO), Jericho Gatchalian (3-0, 2 KOs) locks horns with Paolo Sy (6-6-1, 3 KOs) and Jonathan Gajana (1-0) slugs it out with newcomer Iresh Alejandre.
Categories: Philippines News

Lusaran Bulk Water Project to start providing water on Sept. 4, says MCWD

Cebu Sun.Star - Sat, 2022-07-23 21:15
THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) announced that the Lusaran Bulk Water Project is set to supply potable water to them starting September 4, 2022.

MCWD made the announcement in a statement they sent to SunStar Cebu on Friday, July 22, 2022.

Engineer Joffrey Hapitan, chief executive officer of JE Hydro and Bio-Energy Corp., the company undertaking the project, said his men are working 24/7, as he is determined to keep his promise to deliver as scheduled.

The Lusaran water project will supply 15,000 cubic meters of water a day to MCWD.

On Thursday, July 21, officials of Barangays Lahug, Apas and Busay in Cebu City as well as MCWD’s top management inspected the ongoing site development of the Lusaran Bulk Water Project six weeks before it will start supplying potable water to the water district.

The three barangays will directly benefit when the project is commissioned on September 4.

To lift suspension of water service applications

With the additional supply, the water district will be lifting the suspension of the processing of water service applications from Barangays Busay, Lahug, Apas, Camputhaw and Capitol Site when the Lusaran Bulk Water Project starts to deliver 15,000 cubic meters of water daily this September.

“Dako akong pasalamat nga hapit na gyud masulbad ang among problema. Sa dugay nga panahon, aduna na gyud kasulbaran ug kini gipangandoy sa tanang lumulopyo. Salamat, GM Stephen Yee ug Chairman Daluz of MCWD ug sa JE Hydro ug ni Engr. Hapitan,” Busay Barangay chief Maria Christia Famador said.

The completion of the Lusaran project also means that the water district can start serving at least nine mountain barangays in Cebu City that do not have access to MCWD water yet.

These barangays are Budlaan, Pulangbato, Binaliw, Agsungot, Guba, Malubog, Cambinocot, Lusaran and Paril.

The water district is now finalizing the detailed engineering design of the distribution line for these areas and will soon bid out the project.

The Lusaran Bulk Water Project was awarded to JE Hydro and Bio-Energy Corp. on March 4, 2021. It sources water from the Lusaran River and uses the conventional way of treating water.

MCWD is constructing a reservoir in Busay to store water from the Lusaran bulk water project that will be distributed to the consumers in Lahug, Apas, Camputhaw and Capitol Site.

The purchase of the water supply was done through competitive bidding under Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

MCWD has doubled its efforts to establish additional water sources to address the gap between the supply and demand for potable water in Metro Cebu.

Desalination plants in the pipeline

The water district has started the bidding process for the procurement of desalinated water from a plant in Cebu City South and another plant in Opao, Mandaue City through competitive bidding under RA 9184.

The desalinated bulk water supply contract will have a validity of 25 years and the winning supplier must be able to supply 10,000 cubic meters of water in the first year and 25,000 cubic meters in the succeeding years until the contract expires.

The winning supplier must ensure that it can deliver sustainable and reliable supply to MCWD throughout the contract duration.

MCWD is now producing 240,000 cubic meters of water per day from 138 wells and private bulk water suppliers, covering only 32 percent of the total water demand of Metro Cebu.

These sourcing efforts will bring about a significant increase in MCWD’s total supply. The water district targets to serve up to 70 percent of the total demand in 10 years.

MCWD is serving the cities of Cebu, Talisay, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, as well as the towns of Cordova, Consolacion, Liloan and Talisay. (PR)
Categories: Philippines News

EXPLAINER: Cebu City cites lower bid in picking Docast and JJ  for P383M  2021  garbage deal  even though  &#039;unqualified.&#039;   Carcar City says lands were low-priced even though seller was then VM  Nice Apura.  COA says law, rules can&#039;t be...

Cebu Sun.Star - Sat, 2022-07-23 20:59
IN TWO reports involving the 2021 spending of two Cebu local governments, among the audits released this week, the Commission on Audit (COA) struck down the two local government units' (LGUs) argument that lower price of procured goods or services justifies the selection of a contractor or supplier even though it is not qualified.

[1] Cebu City, through the city accountant, said in its reply to COA’s finding -- that Docast Construction and JJ & J Construction and General Supply were not qualified for the P383.5 million contract as they were not a corporation and were engaged in construction – the two firms offered the lower bid of P1,800 per ton.

The accountant must think that the price factor outweighs the contractors’ disqualifications and violations of the rules set by law or regulation. No, says the COA report.

[2] In Carcar City, a total of P22.839 million was paid for private lands through negotiated purchase, which COA says violated two presidential decrees, a COA circular and “possibly even” the anti-corruption law. The Local Government Code provides that it is unlawful for a government official or employee to transact business with the LGU in which he is an official or employee.

Some P10.643 million was paid to then vice mayor Nicepura L. Apura, husband of the city mayor, with the couple as the top officials of the city when it was transacted. COA also noted that Carcar City bought a lot from Nicepura Apura for P7.822 million Unlawful, said COA of the purchase, citing the Local Government Code and the anti-corruption law.

The City used the claim that the bought lands were located within the premises of New City Center, the LGU’s project. And this argument: the price was “lower than the market value.” Never mind that the seller was the city’s vice mayor at the time.

ISSUE IN GARBAGE DEAL: QUALIFICATION. COA refuses in its report to be distracted from the main issue against Docast and JJ & J. From evidence, COA says in its rejoinder, the two firms, partners in a joint venture, are not qualified and have violated laws and regulations.

But apparently, the two firms snagged the contract because of their lower price, compared to that of competitor Jomara Konstruct Corporation.

But a low amount in the bid, COA instructs, “does not automatically mean or translate into a favorable contract for the government.” Based on literatures, COA says, “too much deflated prices” may lead to problems during the implementation of the project. Contractors are tempted to use substandard materials so as “to recover losses or foregone profits.”

The low bid could be a siren’s call to disaster, more graphically illustrated in the choice of the two firms now being reportedly investigated for plunder on Cebu City’s garbage deal.

PROBE ON DOCAST–JJ ASKED IN AUGUST 2021. The Cebu City Government must have realized that it erred in relying on the low bid of Docast and JJ &J when it selected the service providers.

As early as last August 19, 2021, or two months past the year of implementing the deal, the City Council asked Visayas Ombudsman and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and police, with COA, to investigate “suspected overcharging and bloating of figures in the payments of garbage hauled” by the two firms. On the same day, then vice mayor Mike Rama was among those who called out the “alleged plunder.” Minority Floorleader Nestor Archival Sr. questioned the payment of P250 million to Docast-JJ & J when “in fact for the months from January to May 2021, the City should have paid only P130 million based on the amount of garbage hauled to ARN Central Management,” the dumping site. RELATED ARTICLES

All that on top of COA finding “irregularities” in the weighing and receipting of garbage and the Sanggunian’s own finding that resources of the City, namely Department of Public Services and the barangays’ collection units.

HOW’S THAT FOR SCRIMPING ON COST? Favoring Docast and JJ & J -- purportedly to save money because they offered a lower price for each ton of garbage collected -- seems to have turned out as a serious, and expensive mistake. It was devastating enough for the City Council, led by then vice mayor Rama, to suspect plunder even long before COA reported the violations and omissions.

To COA, the low bid could’ve been a flaming-red flag, telling the LGU to be careful with its money.

WHO’RE COLLECTING NOW. Councilor Joel C. Garganera told Explainer Saturday, July 23 he “believes” it’s the City that’s collecting the garbage and dumping it “direcly in Binaliw.” Which provides an interesting study for the City Council: if the City can do it fairly well, why spend more than P400 million a year on contracted service? Even if it does engage outside labor, it must see to it that it won’t repeat the apparent error with Docast and JJ & J: when the City did much of the work for which the contractors were paid.

Asked about the garbage collection, Minority Floorleader Nestor Archival told Explainer (also on Saturday, July 23) that the minority can’t give immediate answers because under the new Sanggunian House rules, they have “to make a resolution” and wait for the department head’s answer in writing. The new procedure says a City Hall official or employee can be required to appear in person only before an executive session or a public hearing. In all other cases, the resource person’s information shall be given in writing upon request of majority of the councilors.

WHAT’S NEXT. The COA audit on Carcar City requires officials to submit a “valid written justification” on its violations and “immediately desist from engaging in any business transaction with its officials.” (In effect: COA says Don’t do business with them, even if they’re vice mayor and mayor of the City.) Plus COA’s warning of “sanctions and penalties” under the law.

On Cebu City’s deal with Docast and JJ & J, still unresolved, besides the “dubious” qualification of the two firms, is the question of undue fees charged and paid. If that will be proved by COA and the supposed multiple-agency criminal investigation, it would be a pie thrown at the face of auditors who justified the choice of the contractors with the low bid, never mind qualifications imposed by laws and regulations.
Categories: Philippines News

Public reminded of liquor ban as man killed in CDO bar shooting

Philippines Times - Sat, 2022-07-23 20:25

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A man was killed in a shooting incident at a bar in the capital city of Misamis Oriental, early Saturday morning.

Police authorities identified the victim as John Majorinos Avelino, originally a resident of Opol, Misamis Oriental. Police have yet to arrest three assailan

Categories: Philippines News

Marcos loyalist group backs ES Rodriguez amid resignation rumors

Philippines Times - Sat, 2022-07-23 20:19

MANILA - A group of civic-minded Marcos loyalists has expressed support for Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez amid rumors of his supposed resignation.

The Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance (FLAG) - Maharlika believed Rodriguez was a victim of fake news and disinformation.

Categories: Philippines News

Marcos loyalists back Rodriguez amid resignation rumors

Philippines Times - Sat, 2022-07-23 20:19

MANILA - A group of civic-minded Marcos loyalists has expressed support for Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez amid rumors of his supposed resignation.

The Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance (FLAG) - Maharlika believed Rodriguez was a victim of fake news and disinformation.

Categories: Philippines News

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