In a phone interview, PACC chairman Dante Jimenez confirmed to The STAR that there is an ongoing investigation by his office against TESDA officials Pilar de Leon, Luz Victoria Amponin, Maria Magdalena Butad, Imelda Ong, Renato Geron, Gaspar Gayona, Dante Navarro and Maria Clara Ignacio.
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8 TESDA execs probed for fake schools
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is investigating eight officials of Technical Education and Skills  Development Authority (TESDA) over the alleged release of millions of pesos of scholarship funds to fake training schools as well as the alleged rigging of contracts for the supply of training materials.

In a phone interview, PACC chairman Dante Jimenez confirmed to The STAR that there is an ongoing investigation by his office against TESDA officials Pilar de Leon, Luz Victoria Amponin, Maria Magdalena Butad, Imelda Ong, Renato Geron, Gaspar Gayona, Dante Navarro and Maria Clara Ignacio.

The investigation stemmed from a complaint-affidavit filed by TESDA employee Armina Flora Tayko-Villanueva last Jan. 25, he said.

“Our team is currently conducting basic validation and evidence gathering. If there is probable cause, we will file a criminal or administrative complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman. We will also forward the result of the investigation to the Office of the President,” Jimenez said.

Villanueva said the eight officials are former members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) before they were replaced in December last year.

The TESDA board discovered that the group, led by De Leon, allegedly conspired in declaring a failure of bidding for the procurement of starter toolkits for TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program or STEP.

She said the board found no sufficient reason to declare a failure of bidding since the winning bidder complied with all regulatory requirements.

Villanueva said it was later discovered that De Leon reportedly favored another contractor, ACMI Office System Philippines Inc., but the firm failed to pass the bidding requirements.

Villanueva also alleged that De Leon, currently TESDA’s administrative service chief, has long been favoring ACMI, especially in connection with contracts for vehicle procurement in connection with the implementation of STEP.

Villanueva said De Leon’s group reportedly conspired with several regional TESDA directors and officials to accredit several training schools in Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4-A.

She alleged that the schools – Scribe Fast Inc. in Pangasinan; Great Achievers Technical Vocational Institute, Eastern Sunrise Training Institute Inc. and SRF Technical Vocational School Inc., all based in Region 3; and Summerwind Skills Training Center Inc., Cavite Multi Skills Training Institute Inc. and San Antonio Skills Development Center Inc., all based in Cavite – no longer operated but continued to receive payments from TESDA by submitting training coupons and other receipts to make it appear that they are still giving skillls training to TESDA scholars.

Villanueva said more than P100 million of TESDA funds were lost to the alleged scholarship scam.

PRESIDENTIAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
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