The Commission on Audit has called the attention of the Philippine Coconut Authority for the overpriced procurement of corn seeds.
In a 2017 audit report, state auditors assailed the purchases of the corn seeds overpriced by P1.073 million for small coconut farming communities of intercropping materials to help them increase their income.
The purchase of Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 of 3,000 kilos of glutinous corn seeds and 1,428 kilos of yellow hybrid corn amounting to P1.660 million was “disadvantageous to the government.”
According to CoA, the Department of Agriculture said the corn seeds it bought cost only P100 to P200 per kilo, which is 150 percent to 200 percent lower compared to the purchase made by PCA Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 at P250 to P560 per kilo.
The University of the Philippines-Los Baños also gave similar costs of procurement for such corn seeds.
On the other hand, the PCA justified the purchase price due to transport costs.
“Since the regional office procured less volume of hybrid yellow corn and glutinous white corn, 143 bags and 80 bags, respectively, than that of the DA RO No. IV-B which was more than 1,00 bags, the transport costs became most costly, which contributed to a much higher cost per kilogram of corn,” the report read.
CoA cited other observations, such as the lapses in various projects’ implementation, such as the delay in the delivery of seedlings, and doubtful payment of cash incentives of P498,062 and distribution of coconut seedlings worth P54,730.
The audit body told the PCA to coordinate with other government agencies in the direct purchase from accredited seed growers of the Bureau of Plant Industry.
“In view of the foregoing, the payments of incentives not only of doubtful validity but might result in wastage of government funds,” it said.