Issue of September 14, 2014
     
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OPINION
 

105th
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COA discovers City Hall has two missing vehicles
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Two vehicles owned by the city government – a 1995 Oxford model ambulance assigned to the City Health Services Office, and a 1976 Isuzu Gemini Sedan assigned with the Department of Education – were discovered missing or inexistent when the Commission on Audit conducted a physical inventory of some of the assets of the city government.

The total acquisition cost for both vehicles was P641,000. It’s book value or its cost after depreciation is now P64,100.

The ambulance, which is used by the Emergency Medical Services was reported missing since 2011, yet based on the 2013 inventory of the COA, this has not been replaced. The Isuzu Sedan on the other hand, has been dismantled and is now being used as demo materials at the Baguio City National High School.

Based on the audit report, the ambulance was stolen at an auto shop in Barangay Alfonso Tabora. The incident was reported to the police but authorities failed to recover the ambulance bearing license plate SEF 106.

In a justification letter dated Jan. 12, 2012, EMS Chief John Tinoyan assured he would replace the vehicle.

In its report prepared in April this year, the COA recommended to the General Services Office to order the accountable officer to replace the ambulance with the same or higher specifications or cause the immediate payment of the vehicle at “sound value.”

The Isuzu Sedan on the other hand, has been worn out and its chassis and body number has been dropped because it is no longer serviceable.

In the records of the GSO however, the vehicle remains to be in the pool of vehicles owned and maintained by the city government. The COA said the manner of disposal is not in accordance with the guidelines on the disposal of public property as provided in COA Circular 92-386.

“The absence/loss of motor vehicles during physical inventory and failure of the accountable officer to produce or account for the same renders the concerned accountable officer liable for its monetary value as provided for in Presidential Decree 1445 (Auditing Code of the Philippines),” the COA said.

The COA also found that the two motorcycles listed as one of the vehicles of the city, is not actually owned by the city government, but by the Philippine National Police.

“The improper recording of the two units motorcycles resulted in the overstatement of the motor vehicle account, thus rendering the balance of the account doubtful.”

In the case of Isuzu Sedan, the COA recommended for the GSO to abide by the guidelines in the proper disposal of unserviceable vehicles. For the motorcycles, the COA said the city has to ensure that these are under the name of the Baguio City government.

Vehicles that are no longer serviceable should also be classified as such in their inventory of vehicles, so as not to overvalue the cost of the vehicles under its care.

The COA gave as example the P391,500 worth Mitsubishi L300 Deluxe assigned with the City Environment and Parks Management Office, which is no longer being used but in the records of the GSO appeared to be actively used.

The COA also recommended to GSO to immediately dispose through auction unserviceable vehicles to save from further deterioration and realize income from its sale.




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