SK proposals questioned:Projects overpriced?
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - June 2, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Proposals for a P1 million aid to each of nine Sangguniang Kabataan councils in Cebu City hit a snag after several items the youth groups want to purchase are said to be overpriced.

Councilor Eduardo Rama, Jr. asked that the nine SK councils revise their proposals and that the approval of the resolutions of SK Federation President Jessica Resch on the release of the funds be deferred.

These are the councils of Barangays Tabunan, Tejero, Bonbon, Toong, Sambag 1, Kinasang-an, Punta Princesa, Sapangdaku, and Babag.

“Whenever we see an item, we feel that the item is overpriced. Sometimes, based on my experience, dili gyud maayo that we approve bisag kahibaw ta nga it’s an exorbitant amount,” Rama said. 

The council in Tabunan, for example, wants to buy a printer with scanner worth P28,500; a speaker and microphone worth P40,000; and paint worth P10,000.

The SK council in Kinasang-an wants to buy a 43-inch HD LED TV and two sets of Flotti mad rid adjustable headrest sofa worth P32,000.

In Sapangdaku, the SK council there wants to buy basketball at P2,000 each; a basketball board at P10,000 each; and volleyball at P3,000 each; among others.

For Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera, the numbers indicated in the councils’ project proposals are exaggerated so that the total amount can reach P1 million.

“I’m afraid that we might be accused that we are also agreeing to overpricing because one computer laptop, okay fine, P30,000. However, for printer with scanner, Mr. Chairman, you can already buy…because there’s no specs, you can even buy at P6,000 or P3,000 printer with scanner,” she said.

She pointed out that the paint Tabunan wants to buy at P10,000 can reportedly be bought at P800 per gallon. She described the SK council’s proposal as “super overpricing,” although Councilor Alvin Arcilla also pointed out that there are different kinds of paint – for example, the paint used for a basketball court is a rubberized paint.

Councilor Jose Daluz III said he is wondering why Sapangdaku is proposing only two projects – a sports event for P500,000 and a Learning Hub project for P500,000.

Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia Garcia said he does not want to dampen the spirits of the SK officials but there should be further seminars for budgeting, pricing of items, presentation of project proposals, among others.

Pesquera said the quantity of the items should be included in the proposal.

She also said there should be separate resolutions on the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the city and the SK councils so that responsibilities of the members of the councils in the disbursement of funds can be detailed.

Resch said all the proposed projects have been reviewed by her office and Cebu City Youth Development Office.

She said the descriptions, costs, and specifications will be detailed in the Project Procurement Management Plan (PPMP) that the councils will have to comply with after the City Council approves her resolutions.

She also said the numbers in the proposals are not the exact purchasing amounts because bidding will have to be conducted after the City Council approves the project proposals.

Daluz said the City Council should create guidelines on how the assistance will be used so that the SK officials will be guided on their proposals.

Resch said the bidding for the projects and the disbursement of funds will all happen at City Hall since SK chairmen are not allowed to disburse.

She also said the financial assistance for all 80 SK councils will not be released and deposited even with the approval of the City Council because the SK officials are still processing the opening of their bank accounts. —  JMO (FREEMAN)

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