PAO’s excuse for buying too much paper, ink: Eh kasi Dengvaxia!!!

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The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) has again pinned the blame on the Dengvaxia vaccine—this time after the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned its excessive procurement of paper and ink.

In its 2018 annual audit report, the COA said the excess inventory of office supplies totaled P13.1 million.

It said 54 items exceeded the two-month stock requirement set by the General Appropriations Act of 2018, which was meant to prevent items from going stale and wasting taxpayers’ money.

Some of these items—ink cartridges, stamp pads, markers and batteries—tend to become unusable if they were kept too long in the storage.

Even as stocks from 2017 were still unused, the PAO continued to make purchases and worsen the oversupply. Auditors said this showed that the PAO’s supplies monitoring mechanism was “insufficient” for failing to determine the proper inventory.

“Without proper monitoring and established re-ordering point, the possibility exists that an item may be re-ordered even is the quantity is still sufficient resulting in overstocking,” read the report.

The report included the PAO’s comment that cited the increase in the number of cases handled by its lawyers, especially in connection with the dengue vaccine which PAO Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta blamed for the deaths of several children without scientific basis.

“Also in view of the influx of Dengvaxia cases, office supplies such as paper (multi-copy long), and ink cartridges must readily be available for use considering the voluminous printing and photocopying of documents relating to the criminal and civil complaints,” the PAO told the COA.

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