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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) approved a P3.7-million claim by a company against the provincial government of Aurora which withheld payment for undelivered generator sets in 2017.
COA pointed out that a transaction is valid and payment enforceable, even without original documents, as long as other evidence supports contract completion.
COA, led by chairperson Gamaliel Cordoba and commissioners Roland Café Pondoc and Mario Lipana, validated Applied Systems Manufacturing Corporation’s (ASMC) despite the provincial government’s position that it withholding payment because the company merely showed photocopies for procurement and delivery proof.
“While payment of government obligations is required to be covered by original supporting documents…, denying payment would be to allow the government to enrich itself at the expense of ASMC,” the COA said.
Records showed that the provincial government’s Bids and Awards Committee posted a bid invitation for generator sets on PhilGEPS in January 2017, with ASMC winning the P3.7-million contract.
The delivery was confirmed on December 29, 2017, but payment was withheld by the provincial government in 2021 due to missing original documents.
COA said, “This Commission is convinced that ASMC should be compensated. The procurement for the generator sets underwent the required public bidding in accordance with Republic Act No. 9184.” The law cited refers to the Government Procurement Reform Act.
ASMC had submitted photocopies of relevant documents, and COA accepted these because the provincial government did not dispute their authenticity.
State auditors noted the original documents were lost while in the government’s possession.
Auditors said the missing original documents cannot be blamed on the ASMC since these were lost while in the possession of the provincial government. – Rappler.com