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COA: Patrol 117 failed to use gear worth P79 million

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu-based Patrol 117 in Central Visayas failed to use communications equipment worth P79 million thus defeating the purpose of the items, this according to the Commission on Audit.

Launched in 2003, Patrol 117 is aimed to connect a particular caller who really needs quick assistance to the concerned government agencies, but it is presumed that some calls for help were not received by the Patrol 117 operators due to defective phone equipment.

COA found out that several communications equipment worth P79,080,954 sent to Cebu City several years ago were not used for the past years.

COA said there are seven other places in the country where Patrol 117 is also not using millions of pesos worth of communications equipment. Of the P1.2 billion worth of communications equipment that was acquired through a loan from Austria, P568.1 million worth of these was not used.

Although the Cebu-based Patrol 117 is still receiving calls for assistance, its 16 personnel are just using mere telephones unlike before when they were using sophisticated electronic gadgets.

“Makadungog bitaw mi nga dunay mangreklamo kay dili dayon kuno matubag ang mga tawag. Usahay god, amo man nga gisuwayan pag-dial, mo-ring apan walay madungog diri,” one of the operators told The FREEMAN.

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The Cebu-based Patrol 117, as one of hubs in the Visayas, can facilitate responses to calls from other neighboring municipalities and provinces, even in Mindanao and Western Visayas.

The Cebu-based Patrol 117 used the equipment while they were still occupying the second floor of the Department of the Interior and Local Government regional office in sitio Sudlon, barangay Lahug.

But in April of 2008 its operations were transferred to the ground floor of the Bureau of Fire Protection building along N. Bacalso Ave. and the communications equipment was left behind at the DILG building.

“Luoy g’yod tawon mi kaayo diri kay telepono ra ang among equipment,” an operator said. — Rene U. Borromeo/BRP   (FREEMAN NEWS)

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