Sotto urges NPO probe

November 17, 2016 Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo

SENATE Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III believes the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee must investigate the alleged anomalies at the National Printing Office (NPO) involving printing jobs contracted out to some printers allegedly favored by an NPO official.

“Kailangan makarating ‘yan sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Investigation should be made kung may mga ganyang anomalya lalo na sa mga kontratang pinapasok ng pamahalaann before it gets out of hand o kaya matabunan,” said Sotto.

He is confident that Sen. Richard Gordon, who chairs the BRC or the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers, will take action on the reported irregularities.

Pressed to comment on the reported threat of the NPO Employees Union to seek a Senate probe into the issue, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said: “Lahat ng empleyado ay welcome sa aking tanggapan.”

Asked to comment on the alleged professional rivalry between NPO Director Francisco Vales and Deputy Director Sherwin Castaneda, Andanar said: “Mayroon kaming undersecretary na in-charge sa administrative affairs ng buong tanggapan ng PCOO (Presidential Communications Operation Office) kasama na ang attached agencies.”

“Kung hindi kayang plantsahin ‘yung problema dun sa mga attached agencies, bukas ang aming tanggapan to oversee at alamin kung ano ang nangyari kasi kargo ko ‘yan,” he added.

It was alleged that NPO issued “purchase order” for the “accountable forms” of the Social Security System (SSS) amounting to P74 million.

The contract was first awarded to Western Visayas Printing Corporation (WVPC) through Work Order Envelope No. 08-2016-3877 for the 850,000 SSS pads of “contribution payment forms.”

But an “alias Ruben” allegedly maneuvered the printing orders, leading to the granting of orders to three other security printers upon “permission” supposedly from NPO Deputy Director Sherwin Castaneda.

These three printing firms were Best Forms security printer with envelope no. 08-2016-3877A for 395,000 pads of SSS accountable forms worth more than P34 million; Tri-Print Work with work order 08-2016-3877B for 200,000 pads amounting to P17 million and Metro Color company with work order no. 08-2016-38777C for 175,000 SSS pads worth P15 million.