Philippine Daily Inquirer
3 EXECS OF DOTR AGENCY SUSPENDED OVER COA RED FLAGS
Three high-ranking officials of the Office of Transportation Cooperatives ( OTC) were ordered suspended by Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade after a state audit report revealed various irregularities in their transactions.
In a suspension order issued on June 29, OTC Chair Emmanuel Virtucio, Executive Director Eugene Pabualan and Finance Chief Wilfredo Clave Jr. were all slapped with a 90-day preventive suspension as they face investigation.
Created in 1983, the OTC is an attached agency of the Department of Transportation mandated to implement regulations relating to the organization and supervision of transport cooperatives.
A 2017 Commission on Audit report on the OTC showed that Virtucio incurred several questionable expenses, including unauthorized travel expenses totaling P200,000; penalty charges from airline trip cancellations; and transportation al- lowances that were claimed despite the provision of a service vehicle; among others.
Virtucio also allegedly imposed fees for training certificates without authorization and failed to observe the guidelines in the reimbursement of travel expenses.
The COA report also questioned Virtucio’s various procurements, including that of a pickup vehicle through negotiated procurement instead of competitive bidding, and using P85,000 worth of cash advances to get common supplies.
Pabualan and Clave, mean- while, were revealed to have deposited P2 million and P1.3 million, respectively—funds earmarked for the jeepney modernization program—into their personal accounts.
The amounts were released to two officials by the OTC as cash advances, but Pabualan liquidated only P33,000 while Clave liquidated only a little over P537,000, the COA report said.
Tugade temporarily stopped DOTr from downloading funds to the OTC until the amounts released to Pabualan and Clave have been fully liquidated.