Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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COA flags delays, deficiencies hounding DOH’s P4B infra projects

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The controversial P8.13-billion Barangay health stations project of former Secretary Janette Garin was hardly the only infrastructure project of the Department of Health (DOH) found to be riddled with problems.

The Commission on Audit (COA), in its 2017 annual audit report, flagged deficiencies in other projects under the Heath Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) worth a total of P4.099 billion.

Auditors recommended that the DOH resolve various issues causing project delays, strictly monitor the implementation of the projects, and impose damages on erring contractors.

132 projects worth P2.64 billion—53 and 51 of them in the Central Visayas and Central Luzon regions—were not completed within the period provided by the infrastructure contracts.

Another 128 projects costing P702.27 million—59 of which were in the Davao Region—have not started at all as of the COA’s reporting.

Reasons include the pending issuance of clearances from local government units, right-of-way issues, lack of proof of land ownership, changes to the project items, still-ongoing demolition works, problems with the location of the sites, delayed conduct of procurement, and the late submission of detailed agency estimates and drawings (DAED).

“Political interventions” were also cited among the reasons for the project interruptions, but the report did not elaborate on it.

Meanwhile, 49 projects worth P428.15 million—15 of which were in Central Visayas—were not utilized by the intended recipients due to poor planning.

The needed equipment were also not put in place, and there was a lack of electric and water connection or compatible electric outlets. In one case, the rooms could not be opened because the recipient had no key.

18 projects in the Bicol Region and one in the Cagayan Valley, worth a total of P50.99 million, were flagged for defects including roof leakage, incompatible light bulbs, malfunctioning faucets, plumbing problems, improper installation of windows, narrow spaces, and lack of ramps.

Meanwhile, 76 projects in the Bicol Region worth P274.86 million were recorded as complete in the journal entry voucher (JEV).

But, auditors said these were not supported with adequate documents such as the memorandum of agreement, the deed of donation, and the property transfer report.

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