Vico Sotto orders inventory of supplies amid missing P1.4B

MANILA, Philippines – Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto ordered a physical count of the local government's supplies after a recent Commission on Audit (COA) report found it cannot account for P1.464 billion in 2018. 

In a memorandum dated Friday, July 12, Sotto said he is imposing a moratorium on procurement processes until all departments submit a report detailing inventories. Necessary supplies, however, can be procured subject to approval by the Office of the City Mayor. 

"As recommended by COA, we are now conducting a physical count of supplies and materials," he said in a Facebook post. "Pending submission per department, they will not be able to get new supplies." 

The decision stems from the 2018 COA Annual Audit Report, which states that "the physical existence and validity of inventories aggregating P1.464 billion cannot be ascertained." 

State auditors cited inconsistencies in recording acquisitions and issuances of materials, and non-reconciliation of balances "due to improperly maintained records." They also said the report on the physical count of inventories shows a total balance of P26.55 milllion "only."

Aside from a physical count, the commission urged the Pasig City government to maintain documentation in relation to procurement and supply count. It also recommended a system to properly record acquisitions and issuances. 

Sotto, who unseated the powerful Eusebio clan in the 2019 elections, said he did not talk about the report too much, fearing that people will think this is just politicized. 

"Ngunit pinangako ko sa inyo na magiging transparent tayo. Pampublikong impormasyon ito," he said. "Baka sa akin 'nyo hanapin ang mga ito pagkatapos ng term ko."

(I promised that we will be transparent. This is public information. You might ask me about these supplies at the end of my term.)

This is the latest in a series of reforms Sotto introduced upon taking office. He previously ordered traffic enforcers to stop apprehending violators of the odd-even scheme, and formed a task force for the city's overall traffic situation. – Rappler.com