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Cebu News

NBI-7 seeks CH documents: Trash anomaly probe kicks off

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The National Bureau of Investigation-7 has asked Cebu City's Department of Public Services (DPS) to submit important documents needed in its investigation on the alleged irregularities over the city's garbage collection and hauling contracts in 2021.

In a letter addressed to DPS head Atty. Jigo Dacua, NBI-7 asked the department to furnish all original official receipts as issued by ARN Central, the private landfill operator.

“This is in connection to the hauling trips made by Docast Constructions/JJ&J Construction and General Supply for the solid waste disposal from the start of the service until its termination,” read part of the letter from NBI-7 Regional Director Atty. Renan Oliva.

Aside from that, NBI also asked DPS to provide a true copy of latest communication from the Commission on Audit.

NBI needed a copy of its communication with COA also with “regard to the waste landfill/treat facility located in Kalawisan, Lapu-Lapu.”

The Freeman tried to reach Dacua regarding this matter but to no avail.

NBI-7 regional director Atty. Rennan Oliva said they might be forced to issue subpoena to compel the concerned departments of City Hall to submit the documents relative to the controversial garbage disposal contract.

Earlier, Mayor Michael Rama told different offices under the Cebu City government to cooperate with the investigation of NBI as requested by the City Council.

Dacua himself promised to cooperate with the investigation accordingly.

COA also noted some indications of irregularities, especially on the procurement and project implementation of the solid waste disposal services, its 2021 report showed.

As per COA, such exposed the City to the risk of not just fully attaining the program’s objective and outcome but also to the risk of giving the impression that the contractor was a favored one.

“As defined under COA Circular No. 2012-003 dated October 29, 2012, irregular expenditures are those incurred without adherence to established rules, regulations, procedural guidelines, policies, principles or practices that have gained recognition in law.”

As per COA report, in 2021, the City government entered into a contract with the Docast Construction and JJ &J Construction and General Supply, Joint Venture for its solid waste disposal and management system amounting to ?354,731,706.00 covering 197,073.17 tons, and another contract was executed on August 02, 2021 amounting to ?28,800,000.00 for 16,000 tons of solid waste or a total contract amount of ?383,531,706.00.

Several deficiencies were said to be iindication of irregularities including  the ownership and structure of the contractor did not agree with the City’s requirement.

As per COA’s examination of the documents, both the Docast Construction and the JJ &JConstruction and General Supply, forming as a Joint Venture by virtue of an agreement executed between them on January 21, 2021, are sole proprietorships as per their “Certificate of Business Name Registration” issued not by the SEC but by the Department of Trade and Industry as per Certificate No. 05362001 and Business Name No. 2080612, respectively.As such, they both do not have authorized capital stocks.

“These conditions would have already disqualified the contractors/ joint venture during the bid evaluation under the non-discretionary “pass/fail” criteria on January 28, 2021 pursuant to the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9184.”

The primary business of both contractors appeared to be a construction business rather than logistics or hauling services which were also not in accordance with the City’s TOR.

The bidder accordingly did not also qualify in terms of the motor pool location requirement but according to the site inspection report of the Department of Public Services (DPS) dated January 21, 2021, the motor pool of Docast Construction is in Calawisan, Lapulapu City.

“This is to certify that a site inspection was conducted at DOCAST CONSTRUCTION and its EQUIPMENT AND MOTORPOOL located at Brgy. Calawisan, Lapu-lapu City on January 21, 2021.  After ocular inspection, the said equipment and facility is found to be compliant with the DPS requirement," the inspection report from DPS read.

The said contractor reportedly started the hauling and management of the solid waste even though the post qualification was not yet started, absence of BAC declaration that it has qualified, before the notice of award, execution of contract, and the issuance of the notice to proceed. – JMD (FREEMAN)

NBI

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