In a 20-page decision promulgated by the Sandiganbayan Second Division, Raquel Naciongayo, head of the city environment and natural resources office, was found guilty of violating Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
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Pasig environment chief gets 3 years for graft
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - December 28, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Pasig City government official was sentenced to three years in prison for graft over the anomalous awarding of a contract for holding environment seminars in 2006.

In a 20-page decision promulgated by the Sandiganbayan Second Division, Raquel Naciongayo, head of the city environment and natural resources office, was found guilty of violating Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

She was sentenced to one to three years of imprisonment and was perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2016, the case stemmed from Naciongayo’s award of a procurement contract to private firm Enviserve Inc. on Jan. 5, 2006 for its services in connection with the conduct of capacity-building training for the environment officers of several factories and industries operating in the city.

The training seminars, dubbed as “Industrial and Commercial Environmental Congress,” were held on Dec. 19, 2006 and June 14, 2007.

The ombudsman said Naciongayo gave “unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference” to Enviserve Inc. by procuring its services without the benefit of a public bidding required under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The ombudsman said Enviserve was also able to unlawfully collect a total of P3,700 in registration fees from each of the seminars’ participants.

In convicting Naciongayo, the Second Division said that aside from the lack of public bidding, the prosecution was also able to establish that she also transacted with Enviserve at a time when the firm was not yet duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Further, the partiality of the accused became apparent when she readily affixed her conformity to Jan. 5, 2006 proposal of Enviserve Inc. when fact is, it was only Nov. 22, 2006 or 11 months later that said company would register with the SEC,” the court’s decision read.

“Moreover, this inexplicable conformity of accused to the proposal of Enviserve Inc., without even checking (its) legal and financial requirement in providing and conducting an environmental congress is quite telling,” it added.

The Second Division pointed out that even when no public fund was used in the conduct of the seminars, Naciongayo still gave unwarranted benefits and advantage to Enviserve by issuing a memorandum mandating that the private firms’ environmental officers attend the seminar in order for their employers to be granted environmental and business permits.

“This action has been prejudicial to other business entities which could have participated squarely in a public bidding for the aforesaid consultancy services needed, had the accused complied strictly with the provisions of the law,” the Second Division said.

ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT RAQUEL NACIONGAYO
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