Cebu City administrator faces complaint for ‘overpriced’ renting of vans, jeepneys
(UPDATED) CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Administrator Floro Casas, Jr., is once again in the hot seat due to another procurement issue raised by residents here.
The two private complainants, Nicaster Elim Lumacad and Andrew Jacalan Lumapguid, filed a case of grave misconduct against Casas before the Office of the Ombudsman due to the city government’s renting of 373 vans and jeepneys amounting to P48,902,000.
The complainants claimed that the city government released P48.902 million from March 26, 2020, to September 3, 2020, to various renting establishments.
The city paid these establishments P5,500 per day, which the complainants said was twice the rate the Lapu-Lapu Government has paid for the same procurements, which is only at P2,166.67 per day.
Here is the list of the procurements enumerated in the complaint:
Furthermore, the complainants said that during the time period when these vans were rented, there were already 71 buses deployed by other agencies for the free rides.
They lamented that the city government could release such huge funds for rented vans but could not release the salaries of health workers on time.
“Thus, we ask again – if these amounts that Respondent CASAS spent di not take time to be released, why is it that the salaries of the 98 job-order employees of the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) were delayed?” said the complainants.
The complainants argued that Casas has caused undue injury through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence by entering into these procurements.
This is the reason why they are filing a case of gross misconduct against him. No other official of the city government was included in the case.
For his part, Casas said the cases against him have no grounds because the city government went through the proper procurement process.
“Di man gyod mi mahadlok sa among procurement. Kana siya nga procurement, ni go through na sa procurement process. Niagi na sa Bids and Awards Committee (BAC). I am very confident nga wala ray problema ana. Wala lang gyod na silay lingaw kanang mga nagfile-file og kaso namo,” said Casas.
Casas also explained that procurement and release of payroll are different.
As much as he laments the delayed release of the funds for the salaries of healthcare workers, he said there are more requirements needed to process to release salaries.
It can also be noted that the delay was subsequent to the delay of the City Council to pass the first supplemental budget of the year, which contained the allocations for the salaries of the 98 health workers.
For, Casas, the case is simply an attempt to besmirch the integrity of the city government’s BAC even when they went through the proper process.
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