An audit of senate expenses uncovered colossal overstocking of essential items — including some 6,400 rolls of toilet paper ordered in 2016.
In response to the report by the Commission on Audit (COA) senators have today (Wednesday, July 5) agreed an investigation into the excessive spending.
Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said: “It’s best that this is investigated. Let’s find out who did the procurement and why. That’s the best thing to do now if it is really overstocked.
“This has to be accountable, and it is the people’s money.”
Senator J V Ejercito agreed, saying excessive procurement of supplies would damage the integrity of the Senate.
“If the COA finds something irregular, then that has to be looked into. Some heads must roll if they are guilty,” he said.
“Things like these have no place in the Senate because we in the Senate, we are really careful.
“We are very much sensitive to the pulse of the people, so we are very careful.”
Writing on Facebook, Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate accounts committee, said “someone has to be jailed” over the apparent oversupply.
In its report, the COA revealed that 1.4 million pesos of the total excess were office supplies — including over half a million pesos spent on toner and ink cartridges.
The most overstocked items were envelopes, with more than 25,700 in storage, along with 17,750 folders and 14,120 markers.
The report also found that the Senate had an excess of 6,392 rolls of toilet paper in its 2016 inventory worth more than 37,000 pesos. It also said that supplies worth more than 1.6 million pesos were either left unused or kept in stock for long periods due to inefficient procurement planning.
The report concluded: “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.”