Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Saturday, Nov. 7, shifted the blame on political foe, former Mayor Bobby Eusebio, for the almost P2 billion expenditure on supplies and materials that the Commission on Audit decried as “excessive.”

010719 Mayor Vico Sotto ESPIRITU 24 - Vico blames Eusebio for Pasig’s P2-B expenditure in 2019
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU/ MANILA BULLETIN)

 Sotto accused Eusebio of giving away “goods” purchased by the city government to his supporters before finally giving up the city hall.

The former mayor could not be contacted for comment.

In the 2019 annual audit report for Pasig City, COA did not identify who between Sotto or Eusebio was behind the overspending in 2019.

Eusebio was mayor for the first half of the year and stepped down after losing the mayoralty race to Sotto last year.

“Most of this almost P2 billion were expenses from the previous administration here in Pasig,” Sotto told the Manila Bulletin via tweet.  “This includes goods that were distributed to their supporters before they left office in 2019.”

Sotto denied involvement in overspending, stressing that the adverse COA findings were directed towards the administration of his predecessor.

“Since I have assumed office, we have been fixing our procurement, documentation, inventory and other related processes,” the incumbent mayor said.

He added:  “With regard to the procurement mentioned in your article, our target is to make a detailed report on all this by January 2021.”

In the recently-released 2019 audit report, COA warned that excessive procurement of supplies and materials may lead to overstocking and later on, wastage of government funds.

“The procurement of supplies and materials totaling P1.943 billion during the period [of] January to December 2019 was deemed excessive resulting to overstocking that may eventually lead to waste due to obsolescence or other forms of losses contrary to COA Circular No. 2012-003 dated October 29, 2012,” the audit agency said.

State auditors revealed that from January to December 2019, the city government procured a total P1.942 billion supplies and materials.  

“Records also showed that acquisitions during the year in the total amount of P1,942,956,542.89 were 26.23 percent higher than previous year, while issuances during the same year totaling P1,089,155,939.45 were lower by 48.54 percent,” COA said.

“The excessive procurement that resulted to inventory balances beyond reasonable limits that may eventually go to waste due to obsolescence and other forms of losses is not only contrary to the abovementioned Circular (COA Circular 2012-003)  but can also be attributed to poor planning/budgeting,” COA stated.

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