So this is where our taxes go?
A group of senators on Wednesday urged the Senate to look into a Commission on Audit (COA) report that shows the chamber wasted P3 million in public funds in 2016 by overstocking on office supplies, including toilet paper.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate accounts committee, said “someone has to be jailed” over the supposed oversupply.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Sen. JV Ejercito called for a Senate inquiry likely to be undertaken by the accounts committee headed by Sen. Lacson.
Sotto said an investigation should be conducted by the Senate accounts committee into the COA report that the Senate had more than P3 million worth of excess and dormant office supplies in its 2016 inventory.
Sotto said at a news forum in the Senate: “It’s best that it’s investigated. Let’s find out who did the procurement and why. It’s the best thing to do to find out if it’s overstocked.”
Ejercito said “heads should roll” if the overstocking is proven. “We have to maintain our integrity.”
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III is aware of the COA report and has reportedly promised to look into it once he returns home from a trip abroad, says Ejercito.
A COA report claims that P1.4 million of the total excess were office supplies overstocked from its quarterly requirement, the bulk of which is composed of toner and ink cartridges amounting to P260,749.45 and P257,586.32, respectively.
Office envelopes were the most in excess with more than 25,700 items in storage, followed by folders at 17,750 items and markers at 14,120 items.
The COA report further noted that the Senate had a total excess of 6,392 rolls of tissue paper in its 2016 inventory worth more than P37,000.
It also said that more than P1.6 million worth of supplies were either left unused or kept in stock for long periods like up to four years due to inefficient procurement planning.
Other overstocked items found by the COA in its audit included insecticide, air fresheners, AAA batteries, and other office supplies.
The COA said: “Wastage of government assets from overstocking and obsolescence of inventories could have been prevented had procurement of supplies and materials been properly planned and periodic assessment of inventory movements been undertaken to ascertain the minimum quantity of items required for stocking.”