DSWD defies PNoy’s order, buys 17 SUVs

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at this early is defying the spending policy of the Aquino government to shun purchases of new motor vehicles amid a tight budget by procuring 17 four-wheel drive vehicles worth P24.1 million.

The DSWD, in its published public notice, is holding an open bidding for  brand-new 14 pick-up type vehicles and three sports utility vehicles (SUVs) for it’s new social service program that would only be implemented starting next year.

The 14 new pick-up four-wheel drive vehicles would be deployed in DSWD field offices around the country while the three new SUVs will be assigned to the central office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, where the social welfare secretary holds office.

The funds for the procurement of the new vehicles would be taken from part of the loan proceeds from the World Bank (WB).

The winning bidder would be announced October 13, 2010 while the brand-new vehicles would have to be delivered a month after.

The DSWD said the vehicles were being acquired to support the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (PPPP).

But the PPPP would only be formally launched next year and has been earmarked a budget of P29.2 billion under the 2011 proposed outlay.

Of the amount, P21.2 billion would be in the form of conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to some 2.3 million extremely poor households.

The DSWD is now number 7th  in terms of having the biggest budget next year with a total of P34.3 billion from being ranked 9th with  P15.4 billion for the current year.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has repeatedly announced that no motor vehicles would be bought or new government buildings to be constructed in the remaining months and even under the national budget for 2011.

Abad, in his recent budget presentation before members of the Senate and the lower house, said the new budget policy of the Aquino government would involve “no acquisition of motor vehicles.”

The same budget policy was outlined as No. 6 as part of the general budget principles under the proposed P1.645 trillion budget for next year.

Abad nevertheless said purchases of ambulances and police patrol cars would be exempted. Dino Ng

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