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Relief goods at risk of contamination, spoilage in Navotas

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by Allan Yves Briones

The city government of Navotas received a warning from the state auditing agency regarding its handling of local disaster risk reduction management (LDRRM) stockpiles.

According to the 2018 annual audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) relief items and goods were stored behind office desks and in a warehouse under less than satisfactory conditions.

“Further verification showed that some of the stocks are stored…together with other used items and unserviceable properties, and not sorted nor provided with proper storage,” COA stated in the report.

Paragraph VI.1 of COA Circular No. 2014-002 requires the agency head to be responsible for the safeguarding of all procured and donated supplies, materials, equipment and relief goods against loss and wastage.

“The absence of storage room for DRRM stockpiles exposed the said stocks to loss, damage, contamination or spoilage,” COA said.

Also in the report, state auditors flagged P151,343 in goods intended for calamity victims which were given to the Navotas Anti-Drug Abuse Council for its activities, which is contrary to law.

According to the City DRRM Office head, the goods were given with proper communication and approval, and was not done arbitrarily by the disaster officer concurrently acting as special assistant to the council, as noted in the report.

Delays in the delivery of stockpiles were also discovered, yet liquidated damages were not – contrary to the revised implementing rules and regulations of procurement law.

COA ordered Navotas officials to provide appropriate storage for its DRRM stockpiles, as well as the imposition of P262,454 in damages against delinquent suppliers for late deliveries.