COA cracks P170-M anomaly in Leyte's hospital supplies
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has found more than P170 million worth of discrepancy in the Leyte provincial government's acquisition of medical and laboratory supplies.
In its 2014 audit released on October 14, COA said the provincial government's inventory of medical, dental and laboratory supplies totaled only P16.55 million – an amount way off its submitted yearend balance of P189.92 million.
According to auditors, the P173.37 million disparity consisted of unaccounted for drugs and medicines worth P85.36 million, and medical, dental and laboratory supplies worth P88.09 million.
"The year-end balances of the drugs and medicines account…and medical, dental, and laboratory supplies account…are not supported accurately with their respective Inventory Reports," COA said, adding that the provincial Medical Depot failed to submit inventory reports on time.
"We cannot establish the accuracy and validity of the balances of these accounts,” COA added.
COA also found that 12 decentralized hospitals, including Tabango District Hospital, Dr Veloso Memorial Hospital, Villaba Community Hospital, Northwestern Leyte District Hospital, and Abuyog District Hospital, were unable to properly document the deliveries and releases of the said supplies.
Local government officials, however, said there were requests and issuance documents amounting to at least P45 million, which were late and were therefore excluded from the year-end balance. These were just included in the records of the first quarter of 2015, officials claimed.
Aside from faulty accounting, auditors also found the contracts and release of payment for the procured items "doubtful due to incomplete supporting documents attached to these contracts and disbursement vouchers."
These dubious transactions identified were medicine supplies from BAJ Pharmaceuticals amounting to P13.23 million and hospital equipment from Sunfu Solutions worth P6.46 million.
A separate audit report also showed more contracts, amounting to a total of P98.67 million, that lacked supporting documents.
These acquisitions included drugs and medicines (P37.78 million), medical supplies (P6.07 million), hospital equipment (P3.45 million), sardines and noodles (P7.21 million) and "other procurement" (P44.55 million).
A random assessment of payment vouchers – with no signed receipt of full payment from suppliers – also revealed 9 dubious transactions:
- Countrymed Enterprises – medicines (P5.17 million), rabies vaccines (P633,000) and medicines for Leyte Provincial Hospital (P1.404 million)
- Paramed Pharmaceuticals – various oral medicines (P930,488) and various injectable medicines (P1.57 million)
- Sunfu Solutions Inc – various hospital equipment (P6.825 million)
- BAJ Pharmaceuticals – various medicines (P13.98 million)
- Electronic City and Service Center – various electrical materials (P2.436 million)
- Ready Form Inc – accountable form No. 51 (P2.11 million)
COA said the missing papers were necessary to determine whether or not the suppliers and contractors abided by the proper bidding process. Otherwise, they should be disqualified for non-compliance.
The agency warned the local government to complete the documents, otherwise the transactions would be considered invalid. The LGU said it would furnish COA the documents it needs.
The provincial accountant defended the 9 supposedly questionable transactions, saying that the signed copies of the vouchers were the duplicates kept by the province, while the unsigned documents were the originals submitted to COA. As customary practice, the provincial accountant said, the duplicate copies which bore signatures were already disposed of by year-end.
COA, however, dismissed the explanation and said the signed official receipts must still be submitted for audit. – Rappler.com