Saturday, July 14, 2018

PNP says it’s ready to face Senate probe on P1.8B purchase of defective jeeps

PNP chief Director General Oscar and Mahindra patrol vehicle. Images credit to Rappler and UNTV
Amidst the complaints from various Philippine National Police (PNP) branches and findings by the Commission on Audit (COA) and Senate, the PNP says it is ready for the Senate probe into the P1.8 billion purchase of Indian-made Mahindra jeeps.

"We are ready and willing to cooperate in any Senate investigation, and we will provide the necessary documents regarding the acquisition of the Mahindra patrol vehicles," PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said.

In an interview conducted by COA, it reported that 57.20% of police officers were unsatisfied with the overall performance of the Mahindra vehicles, mainly due to its high fuel consumption.

The fuel consumption issue was highlighted as it contradicts the specifications set by the National Police Commission for them to be fuel-efficient.

COA blamed the PNP for failing to conduct an operational needs assessment before purchasing the vehicles.

As of now, 206 units are not effectively utilized out of the 2,054 units purchased.

This, the COA said, "pushed back the full attainment of the objective of the Capability Enhancement Program (CEP) of the PNP."

The lack of efficient and effective vehicles is believed to hamper the PNP’s capability to fully enforce the law and to adequately protect the public.

The concerns on this matter prompted Senator Grace Poe to file a Senate Resolution urging the body to look into the alleged irregularities surrounding the purchase of the Mahindra vehicles in 2015.

Among the problems encountered with the vehicles were the frequent breakdowns, a poor after-sales services, and a limited availability of spare parts that "impacted on its vision of a more capable, effective and credible police force."

The procurement process for the vehicles was also questioned, however PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr. said they only submitted the specification requirements needed for for the purchase.

"We have to emphasize that the procurement of Mahindra, from the bidding process until its procurement was not done by the Bids and Awards Committee by the Philippine National Police but by the procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management," Durana said.

"So it is beyond us, the only thing that we've contributed is to set the specification based on the operational needs assessment that were conducted earlier," he added. 

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Daily Pilipinas Source: GMA

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