BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Outgoing Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino is not yet off the hook, despite the approval of his optional retirement by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, as two more show-cause orders are set to be issued on him.
Masculino, who is set to retire tomorrow, will be asked to explain the unfinished projects of OPA from 2014 to 2017, worth several millions of pesos, and an “under specifications” grain dryer, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.
Diaz said a complaint was forwarded to them by the Department of Agriculture during the Philippine Rural Development Project meeting last Friday, that indicated that communal irrigation projects in 23 sites, with budgets ranging from P3 million and below, had not been completed.
With this development, he said that the OPA and the contractors were given a time frame until Dec. 31 this year, to finish the projects. Otherwise, the contracts will be terminated by the province, upon the request of the DA, Diaz said.
He also issued a stern warning to all those contractors, who did not finish the projects and failed to communicate with the Office of the Governor, or OPA, that they will be blacklisted by the province.
Upon awarding of the projects, the contractors requested 15 percent of the budget for mobilization, Diaz said.
Masculino, who has settled the P1 million unpaid catering services of OPA, from his retirement benefits, will be asked to explain, through the issuance of a show cause memorandum, why OPA accepted “under specifications” farm equipment that has different serial numbers and specified tonnage.
If the irrigation projects were contracted from 2014 to 2017, Masculino said the issue should be answered by his predecessor, adding that he will answer the queries, as soon as he receives the show-cause orders.*