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COA disallows P44-million Batangas State University land deal

COA disallows P44-million Batangas State University land deal
The Commission on Audit says the land acquisition deal was grossly overpriced

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) issued a notice of finality of decision and order of execution against Batangas State University’s (BSU) land acquisition contract from 2002. 

COA upheld the findings of its audit team that the P44.87-million contract was grossly overpriced. According to the audit team, the 140,222-square meter Lagadlarin 1 property was priced at P320 per square meter, when its fair value was only assessed at P130 per square meter. 

State auditors also questioned where the partial payment for the lot came from – a trust fund account for Laboratory Deposit Fees that totaled P14.81 million. BSU officials also failed to secure the Transfer Certificate of Title in the university’s name, which was a precondition to the sale.  

Both certificates of registration of purchase and of availability of funds were also missing.  

COA required BSU officials involved in the land deal to refund the P44.87 million paid for the property. 

The  COA also disallowed BSU’s purchase of the Lagadlarin 2 property for P91 million, citing gross overpricing. The contract for the 260,000-square meter property was priced at P350 per square meter, when the proper valuation should have been P198 per square meter at the most.

Property vendor Samuel Macatangay had filed a motion for reconsideration, asking that COA require BSU to pay him the balance based on the P91-million agreement.  BSU officials had paid an initial P48.705 million, leaving a balance of P42.29 million.

The commission declined, saying he could only get P2.77 million more based on the COA Appraisal Committee’s P51.48-million valuation for the property. – Rappler.com

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