Diokno blamed for unused funds

February 01, 2019
Benjamin Diokno

PUBLIC funds worth billions of pesos have remained unused for one to five years due to the revisions of   implemen-ting rules for procurement made by Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

This was according to chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. who also charged that an estimated P50 billion was given to little known government offices.

This irregularity surfaced when the committee resumed  congressional investigation into questionable allocations and anomalous practices by the Department of Budget and Management under Diokno.

Officials of the Commission on Audit revealed that at least P17 billion of public funds transferred by other departments to the DBM-Procurement Service remain idle and unaudited as of December 2018.   

Another P31.6 billion has been lying idle for years in the Philippine International Trading Corp., an attached office of Department of Trade and Industry, also from the transfer of funds from other departments and agencies.  

The COA officials noted that the inter-agency fund transfers (IAFTs) ballooned to billions of pesos after new provisions were included in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.    

“The IRR, we have learned, was revised in 2016 by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPBB) under the chairmanship of Sec. Diokno,” Andaya said.  

The inserted provision in question is Section 7.3.3 of the Revised IRR, which states that:

“In order to hasten project implementation, Procuring Entities which may not have the proficiency or capability to undertake a particular procurement, as determined by the HoPE concerned, may outsource the tasks by:

a) Requesting other GOP agencies to undertake such procurement for them, through the execution of memorandum of agreement containing specific arrangements, stipulations and covenants, in accordance with government budgeting, accounting and auditing rules.”