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    Posted June 23, 2014 by

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    Philippine lawmaker asks: Where’s P22.6M?

    A PHILIPPINE lawmaker on Monday said he wants the Department of Education (DepEd) to be investigated for spending in 2012 some P22.6 million to build hand-washing facilities in schools without water supply.
    Under House Resolution 736, Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture and the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability should probe DepEd for what the Commission on Audit (COA) described as unnecessary expenditure.
    The COA defined unnecessary expenditures as those "incurrence of expenditure not dictated by the demand of good government," Castelo said.
    Citing the COA report released 3rd week of January 2014, Castelo said the DepEd spent P22,684,559.33 to build hand-washing facilities in schools in Misamis Oriental, Biliran, Navotas and Malabon two years ago.
    But inspections by COA representatives revealed most of the built hand-washing facilities were not functional, not fully utilized and unnecessary as there were no available water resources in the targeted schools.
    "In Misamis Oriental, each hand washing project in 25 schools cost around P45,000 to P50,000 but only four or 16 percent are functional and the remaining 84 percent were found useless because of lack of water supply, absence of electrical connection, destroyed faucets and pipes, destroyed hand washing counters and dirty facility and surroundings," Castelo said.
    "State auditors had the same observation for the facilities in Navotas, Malabon and Biliran, with lack of water supply as the primary problem," Castelo added.
    Quoting the state auditors, Castelo said "it seemed that concerned officials did not consider the availability of water resources in the targeted schools and sanitation of the facilities pursuant to the above-cited DepEd order to ensure the sustainability of these facilities."
    "Had concerned officials exercised due diligence, schools with enough toilets and with water supply problem should not have been selected as beneficiaries and the funds could have been allocated to other projects," Castelo quoted state auditors as saying.
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