Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Business plates anomaly in Dagupan discovered
By Alex Romeo R. Fernandez
DAGUPAN CITY--First it was ATM (automated teller machine) cards, now it is business license plates.
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez asked the Commission on Audit (COA) to make a thorough investigation after the city government unearthed last week another anomalous transaction at the City Hall this time involving the procurement of 3,000 business license plates from a firm that lost in an bidding.
Fernandez made the discovery when she ordered an investigation following the attempt of a local firm called El John Company to claim payment for the plates.
El John was reported to have been ordered to print the plates by Whatsitz Enterprises, which is owned by a certain Jason Estrada.
Carmen Olpindo, head of the One-Stop Business Center (OSBC), which issues business plates, said the plates were delivered by Whatsitz Enterprises to her office last December 2012.
The OSBC believing it was Whatsitz that won the bidding started issuing the plates, Olpindo said.
However, further investigation disclosed that Whatsitz, in fact, lost the bidding conducted by Phil Government Electronic Procument System (PhilGeps). Olpindo said the OSBC stopped issuing the plates when they discovered the anomaly.
Subsequently, the former administration conducted bidding for another set of plates last January. This time, it was RJS Techno Engineering Works, which won the bidding for 2,851 pieces of plates priced at P120 each. The Whatsitz plates were priced at P143 each.
Both plates, however, will not be issued anymore, as they still bear the picture of former Mayor Benjamin Lim. That leaves the OSBC with a total of 5,369 unusable plates. “The anomalous transaction will undergo more thorough investigation,” Fernandez assured. (CIO/ARRF/080613)