The Commission on Audit filed a two-page notice of disallowance last October 29, 2009 against some of the government officials in the city of Manila. The notice was filed after it was found that the claims for the consultancy payment of the 21 consultants, who were supposedly appointed to work at the office of the mayor, were deficient. However, based from the results of the audit prepared by Domingo C. Bocalan Jr., State Auditor IV, the submitted vouchers or payrolls for the period covering July1, 2007 to June 30, 2009 for alleged contracted services were void and that the supposed 21 consultants were fictitious employees. The illegal transaction was said to have cost the city the amount of P5,058,000.00.
Mayor Alfredo Lim claimed in his affidavit that he have no idea about the said anomalous transaction, which in turn reinforced the Commission on Audit file the notice of disallowance against the involved officials. The Mayor also added that he never signed any contract related to the purported services nor did he granted the payment for the supposed 21 consultants. Lim's statement were further reinforced by three of his office staff. The three office staff who supported the mayor's statement were Rowena Senatin, Helen Natividad and Arturo Mijares.
According to the officials, the names of the consultants that appeared in the payrolls that was submitted to them by some of the members of the accounting and property division of the city of Manila were not included in the list of consultants that were employed by the mayor. Senatin, Natividad and Mijares confirmed that the name Nelson Del Mundo as well as the other alleged consultants was fictitious. This particular government anomaly is just one of the corrupt practices plaguing Manila's local government. Likewise, this transaction was not necessarily carried out to help the city but a mere justification for the involved personnel to acquire personal gains.
Eleven officials from the accounting and property division of the local government of Manila were named as the persons liable for the said anomalous transaction. The named officials were Pacifico Lagramada, Yolanda Ignacio, Marleen Young, Gloria Quilantang, Vicky Valientes, Erlinda Marteja, Philip Cabalun II, Cherry Chan, Alicia Moscaya, Fritz Noel Borres, and Rodelio Leyson. The said individuals were responsible for facilitating the payment of the fictitious 21 consultants worth P5,058,000.00 without rendering actual services. Mayor Alfredo Lim and the affidavit of his staffs attested the involvement of the said personnel.
Bocolan recommended in the notice of disallowance that the identified perpetrators from the accounting and property division of the city of Manila to refund the full amount of P5,058,000.00. The said amount was representative of the payment of salaries of the fictitious consultants, who were supposedly contracted by the city mayor. The notice of disallowance given by the Commission on Audit is final and executory under the law, and can only be appealed by the involved participants in the anomalous transaction within six months from the day the notice was filed. The inability to comply with the notice will allow the Commission on Audit to take necessary actions in order to settle the issue.
Although the words of Mayor Alfredo Lim may have served as the justification for the named individuals to be held liable by the Commission on Audit, it appears that there is something wrong with this transaction. The only question that needs to be answered in this incident is how did the transaction came to fruition if Mayor Lim did not approve it in the first place? Although the involved people in this anomalous transaction were already held liable for their corrupt practice, answering this question would somehow shed light to the blind side of the story. This side of the story is something that needs to be clarified to the public.
A notice of disallowance was given by the Commission on Audit against some of the government officials from the city of Manila. The notice was filed following the deficiencies found in the vouchers submitted to the Commission on Audit, which contained the supposed payment for 21 fictitious consultants. This government anomaly had cost the city P5,058,000.00. Mayor Alfredo Lim noted that he did not approve and signed any of the contracts for the said consultation services.