Posts Tagged Palawan Projects

Conduct Unbecoming? WSC Competitor Baham Mitra (Part 1)

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Repost

I saw Baham’s TV interview about these Palawan Projects.

Conduct Unbecoming? Or just false accusation?

Related Palawan facebook pages:

  1. Malampaya Fund Misuse
  2. Bawal Movement
  3. Justice for Dr. Gerry Ortega

- Gameness til the End

Mitra defends Malampaya projects, cries demolition job

Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:44 am | Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Palawan Governor Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra on Friday branded as “hypocritical moralists” critics of the projects constructed from profits of the Malampaya fund, which were undertaken during his term as congressman of Palawan’s second district from 2004 to 2008.

In a press statement, Mitra said the critics “have recycled old charges because they have nothing new to tell the people of Palawan.”

Puerto Princessa Bishop Pedro Arigo and Mika Ortega, daughter of slain Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega, said Tuesday that former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Palawan officials should be charged with plunder for the misuse of P2.3 billion in profits from the Malampaya gas project.

Arigo and Ortega said Arroyo and company should be held responsible for entering into an agreement with the provincial government that was “designed to plunder” the Malampaya funds.

“With their eyes set on the May 2013 elections, they have politicized the issue. But they cannot go far with their exaggerated claims and imagined conclusions that cannot stand on facts,” Mitra said.

Mitra is seeking a second term next year based on the success of his Health, Energy, Education, Agriculture and Tourism (Heat) program that has improved the economic and social life of thousands of Palaweños.

He said his advocacy of clean and transparent governance and sound fiscal management fetched for Palawan the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s Seal of Good Housekeeping last year.

Singled out

Saying he was being “singled out for demolition,” he noted that the proceeds from the Malampaya gas project were equally distributed among the two congressional districts and the province, and the capital city of Puerto Princesa got a share from his district’s allocation.

Mitra’s legal counsel, Winston Gonzales, said the Commission on Audit found no “deliberate and widespread corruption, or any indication that the (Malampaya-funded projects) funds  were actually stolen.”

“At most, some are documental lapses in the bidding process and minor deficiencies, which if quantified would amount to less than three percent of the total project costs,” Gonzales said.

To conform with bidding requirements, he pointed out that an Invitation to Apply for Eligibility to Bid (IAEB) advertisement was published twice in the Manila Standard, a newspaper of general circulation, on Feb. 7 and March 4, 2008.

It was also posted in the procuring entity’s (Department of Public Works and Highways) website from Feb. 26 to March 3, 2008.

During the period, Gonzales said the Palawan Second Engineering District Office (PSEDO) had no existing account name in the Government Electronic Procurement System (G-EPS). The encoder in charge of posting was then instructed by the bids and awards committee (BAC) chairman to post the IAEB in the G-EPS using another account.

“Due to nonformal training in the system, she (encoder) inadvertently did not conform and secure proof of posting,” Gonzales said.

P420M spent on ‘anomalous’ Palawan road projects

ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 10/22/2012 9:17 PM | Updated as of 10/22/2012 9:17 PM

MANILA – Hundreds of millions of pesos worth of public funds have been spent on allegedly anomalous road projects in Palawan, according to a Catholic Church official.

One road in Bataraza, Palawan, cost P20 million per 6 kilometers to build. However, many of its portions are no longer passable.

The road is part of the 21 projects worth P420 million under former congressman and now Palawan Governor Baham Mitra.

The funds were sourced from the taxes from the Malampaya natural gas projects in the sea off Palawan.

Bishop Pedro Arigo of Puerto Princesa said the Commission on Audit and the National Bureau of Investigation have themselves said that the road project is full of anomalies.

Arigo decribed the questioned projects as of “plunderous proportion” because of the amount of money involved.

His statement is supported by Mika Ortega, a daughter of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega.

The younger Ortega, who is spokesperson of Kilusang Love Malampaya, said damaged portions of one road project were also covered up using public funds again from another source.

Mitra, however, said the blame lies on the Department of Public Works and Highways.

He said the projects and funds were implemented by DPWH. “Sinunod lang po natin yung ating medium-term development plan,” he said.

Mitra believes the allegations against him are politically motivated.

ABS-CBN News tried to talk officials from the DPWH in Palawan, but all declined. - with a report from ANC

Bishop: COA report on Malampaya-funded projects ‘damning evidence of corruption’

23-Oct-12, 12:23 PM | Elmer Badilla, InterAksyon.com


An SUV has to be pushed up the Culandanum road, which was supposed to have been rehabilitated for P20 million but which obviously is in a poor state. BERNARD TESTA, INTERAKSYON.COM

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines – Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo described as “damning evidence of corruption” the Commission on Audit’s report on the implementation of projects funded by the province’s P3-billion share from the Malampaya Gas Project during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

However, Arigo said civil society groups in Palawan will call for a deeper investigation into the anomalies documented by the COA, saying the report failed to establish “the extent of corruption” surrounding the projects.

The report is actually the last of two done by COA on a special audit on royalty projects given to Palawan in 2009 as part of an “interim agreement” between the provincial and national governments while the question of whether Palawan is entitled to a legal share of the
Malampaya Gas Project remains pending before the Supreme Court.

The report, on projects implemented in Palawan’s second engineering district, identified violations committed by the Department of Public Works and Highways in the contracting of 21 infrastructure projects, worth P521 million, in the province’s second district, that had been identified by then Representative Abraham Kahlil Mitra, who is now governor.

Most of the road and bridges projects had been allocated uniform funding of P20 million.

Several projects visited by InterAksyon.com over the weekend, however, appeared to show hardly a trace of the funds that were poured into the projects.

The first installment of the COA report, released in 2011, dealt with the audit of the bulk of projects. These were mostly implemented by the provincial government, funded by the P2.6 billion granted to Palawan.

The COA report detailed similar anomalies — from project rigging and fund misuse — and had recommended criminal and administrative charges against provincial officials, including then Governor Joel Reyes, who is now a fugitive wanted for the murder of broadcaster Gerry Ortega — a consistent critic of the alleged misuse of Malampaya proceeds for Palawan.

Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo (photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.com)

Among the findings of the first report were:
- P1.7 billion worth of projects did not undergo proper bidding
- 80 projects went to a single contractor, BCT Trading & Construction
- For 23 delayed projects, liquidated damages were not collected
- The provincial government failed to set aside P85,678,663.34 as
retention money
- The construction of San Vicente airport was split into six contracts
- P5,937,721 for the installation of home solar panel remains unaccounted for

On the other hand, the second COA report highlighted the following:
- 109 projects, costing P 493,025,401.80, did not undergo the correct process of bidding
- 36 projects had overlapping contractors
- Eight of 12 materials engineers did not meet the criteria for DPWH
accreditation
- Nine road and bridge projects, costing P170,437,978.88, were
overpriced by P5,566,273.32
- 40 school buildings were overpriced
- There was failure to collect liquidated damages totaling P1,450,818.55 on
11 delayed roads and one delayed school building.

A loaded jeepney traverse an unpaved section of the Culandanum road in Palawan, which was supposed to have been rehabilitated under a P20-million budget that was part of funds given to the province from the revenues of the Malampaya Gas Project. (photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.com)

The report recommended the filing of administrative charges against senior DPWH officials of Palawan’s second engineering district and a number of private contractors.

Bishop Pedro Arigo: Truth on Malampaya Gas Project

Abraham Kahlil Mitra

Abraham Kahlil Mitra is the current provincial governor of Palawan, a fast-growing archipelago-province in the Southern Tagalog Region. He is the youngest son of former House of Representatives Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr. and Cecilia Aldeguer Blanco. He is popularly known to people both in Palawan and elsewhere as “Baham”.

Political Career

Following the footsteps of his father who served the Philippine government for a very long time, Baham Mitra entered politics at a very young age. Baham served as a Presidential Consultant for Palawan from 1998 until 2000 under former President Joseph Estrada. He became a member of the House of Representatives representing the second legislative district of Palawan for three consecutive terms until 2010. Programs and projects for the welfare of his representation were massively implemented as he lobbied for the national government to appropriate sufficient funds thereof. High priorities were made for health, education, environmental protection and for the prime mover of the province’s growth- tourism.

Mitra bid for a gubernatorial post during the 2010 synchronized local and national elections. His attempt was full of trials as he was lambasted with protests allegedly for his unqualified residency requirement for such position. This complicated saga begun as opponents accused Baham of lying on his residency status. He claimed to had lived in a basement of a feed mill located in the municipality of Aborlan where he has been living since March 2008. Legal battle ensued as it reached the Supreme Court where if finally tendered its decision on Mitra’s favor on October 2010.

Baham’s stint as the provincial governor is also dramatic as recall election followed as he seated in the provincial capitol. This made headlines as a sectoral group called Kilusan Love Malampaya (KLM filed a petition for recall on alleged grounds of “loss of trust and confidence” on September 2011. In a statement, KLM accused Mitra of having “compromised” Palawan’s interests for accepting Malacañang’s offer of a significantly smaller portion of the province’s share of royalties amounting to P60 billion paid by the Malampaya consortium operating the natural gas project in offshore northern Palawan close to the municipality of El Nido. [{http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/232534/news/regions/palawan-gov-faces-petition-for-recall-election}] However, this election did not realized as the Commission of Elections was not able to decide on the matter immediately and the next mid-term elections for 2013 is just a few months away.

Baham Mitra’s leadership in the Palawan is very interesting. Innovative ways of leading this province comprising hundreds of islands and atolls became significant for its growth. It gains popularity for its promotion of sustainable development through economic and tourism synergy working hand in hand to achieve holistic progress.

Personal Life

Governor Abraham Khalil Mitra was born on January 3, 1970 in Manila. He finished his elementary at the Benedictine Abbey School in Alabang, Muntinglupa City in 1983. He continued his secondary schooling at the same school until 1987. He then studied BS Management at another Benedictine-run school, San Beda College and graduated in 1991.

mitra BAHAM MITRA : PALAWAN’S PRIDE

Keeper Of The Mitra Blues

From childhood, the youngest son of one of the most prominent Filipino sabungero of all time – the late House Speaker Monching Mitra, was already seen as the one that will continue his father’s legacy, both in public service and the passion for gamefowls.

Baham, a 3-term representative and now Governor of the tourists-haven Palawan, continuously propagates and develops the unique Filipino strain of fightingcocks that bear the Mitra name. He co-founded the Group of Palawan Gamefowl Breeders, Inc. and continues to be the association’s staunch supporter and benefactor.

“Now, I am tasks to continue my father’s legacies and I tell you, his shoes are hard to fill”, Baham stated. One of Baham’s current goal is to be able to reinvigorate the bloodline or strain of fightingcocks that his father made famous, the Mitra Blues and the Mitra 56 which won back-to-back international derby titles in Bacolod during the 80s.

“I will be fighting an all-abuhin line-up in the Thunderbird Palawan Challenge” Mitra revealed.
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