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Nation

Benguet LGU flagged over ‘illegal’ procurement

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the municipal government of Itogon in Benguet for alleged violation of the procurement law and failure to account for goods that were distributed during COVID lockdowns.

In a 2020 audit report, state auditors said the municipal government violated the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act, and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan Grant to Heal as One Act, when it procured food and non-food items without conducting public bidding.

The money used to procure the items was sourced from the funds of the local disaster risk reduction and management council.

Instead of a public bidding, the local government used a memorandum of agreement (MOA) crafted in 2019.

The COA said the procurement of goods based on an old MOA was contrary to the principle of competitiveness.

It said the MOA did not guarantee that the local government unit could recover any loss in case of non-compliance by the supplier.

“The procurement process used by the local government deprived the people of Itogon of the opportunity to participate in the bidding process,” the COA said.

State auditors said that except for one barangay, there was no proof showing the goods were distributed in or received by eight other barangays.

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