NEA is Audit Compliant for 5 straight years; DepEd, DOST endorse bill allowing science graduates.. and Solon seeks investigation of the award of 489 dead bus franchises
Posted on August 2nd By National Electrification Administration, Vicky Bartilet (AGHAM), Department of Transportation and Communication
For the fifth consecutive year the National Electrification Administration (NEA) remains to be COA Audit compliant.
The state-run agency, mandated to implement the total electrification of the country, was rendered an unqualified audit opinion for Calendar Year 2011 by the Commission on Audit. Since 2007, NEA has been given an unqualified opinion by the State Auditor after reviewing its financial statements which comprise the balance sheet as of December 2011 and income statement, statement of changes in equity and cash flow statement for the year ended.
The COA Report also states that this is the 8th consecutive year that NEA remains to be in the black. Since its financial turnaround in 2004, NEA has consistently posted a positive financial position. For 2011, an income of P155.72 million was registered by the agency. This is higher than the P130.9 million net income recorded in 2010.
Administrator Edita S. Bueno said, “NEA continually strives to live up to its avowed corporate values of absolute honesty, maximum efficiency and total solidarity to be a stable asset to the government. The COA opinion confirms that NEA’s best practices are aligned to good public governance. Together with our partner-electric cooperatives nationwide, NEA constantly finds ways to step up its level of public service.”
The continuous effort in the reconciliation and adjustment of inventory and other related accounts and addressing properly the COA comments, observations and recommendations particularly on the implementation of the rural electrification projects such as the unexpended subsidy fund balances, deviations/deficiency in the implementation of subsidy-funded projects and in the maintenance and utilization of subsidy funds are among the factors which attributed to NEA’s audit opinion.
As the first government-owned and controlled corporation to adopt the COA-developed Electronic New Government Accounting System (e-NGAS) in March 2005, NEA’s processing of financial transactions has been speedier, simpler and more transparent.
DepEd, DOST endorse bill allowing science graduates to teach science and math in elementary and secondary schools
The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) support and endorse House Bill No. 3479 also known as “An Act Allowing Graduates in Science, Mathematics, Statistics and Engineering Courses to Teach Science and Mathematics in Elementary and Secondary Levels and for Other Purposes” sponsored by AGHAM Party-list Rep. Angelo B. Palmones.
“The Department welcomes the provisions of the bill tapping graduates in science, mathematics, statistics and engineering courses to teach science and mathematics, especially in the public schools, as well as the idea of providing an alternative solution on how to address the issue of migration to other countries of teachers specializing in said fields,” DepEd Sec. Armin A. Luistro said in his letter.
Sec. Luistro said HBN 3479 will address the lack of science and math teachers, and the worldwide concern on the state of science and technology education which calls for establishing conditions to improve practice.
“The Department believes that the passage of the bill into law is timely since the sustained economic growth of a country is anchored on building internal capacities in science, technology and education. The need for a critical mass of S & T oriented individuals supports and strengthens one of the 10-point agenda of the President,” Luistro added.
On the other hand, DOST Sec. Mario G. Montejo welcomed the initiative taken by Rep. Palmones for sponsoring HBN 3479.
“The DOST strongly believes that the legislative measure is an important step in accelerating the efforts geared at increasing the supply of competent and qualified teachers needed for the development efforts in science and mathematics in the country,” Montejo said.
Both secretaries recommended though that science graduates who opt to teach must obtain the required professional license to teach within the period specified in the bill.
Rep. Palmones acknowledged DOST’s and DepEd’s support and endorsement of HBN 3479.
“This legislative measure will certainly improve and strengthen the delivery of science and mathematics education at all levels, and keep the country competitive in the global arena,” Palmones said.
Agham Rep. Angelo B. Palmones yesterday asked the House transportation committee to investigate the award by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) of 489 bus franchises to five bus companies on the grounds that the franchises had been “legally dead” since 1993 and that the award “ is in fact and spirit” a direct assault on the “tuwid na daan” policies of President Aquino 3rd.
Palmones filed House Resolution No. 2517 so the chamber can look deeper into the franchise award which has been described by many complaining bus operators as “hasty, brazen and illegal” and – unless undone – can wreak havoc on the country’s Public Service Law and worsen the traffic gridlock in major Metro Manila roads.
Palmones said that other than the fact that the franchises had been declared legally dead since 1993, , there exists an entire body of rulings from the LTFRB itself and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) that the lines had expired and can neither be sold nor transferred to other parties.
The complaints said that the LTFRB made the award with “ indecent haste” during the peak of the impeachment trial and after 20 years of consistently ruling against the validity of the franchises
Palmones said that one of the major issues raised in the official complaints against the hasty award is also worth a deeper probe : that while the award supposedly benefited the retrenched PNEI workers the 489 CPCs were hastily ceded to five companies owned by a single bus-owning family, the Hernandez family, which is also the largest and most dominant bus operator in Luzon.
The companies owned by the Hernandez family, ironically, once vigorously opposed the revival of the long– dead PNEI franchises also on the grounds that the franchises had long expired and there was absolutely no legal basis for their resurrection, according to DOTC and LTFRB files.
Palmones , quoting the official complaints, said that supposed award to retrenched workers may just be a “ flimsy legal ruse” to revive the long-dead lines of a long-defunct bus company.
In a formal complaint filed with the office of the DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas last week , aggrieved bus operators said that the award was not only brazen but was without precedent. The award of 489 dead franchises was done in a single order and to companies owned by the largest bus-operating family in Luzon at that.
The complaints said that the award makes a mockery of the moratorium on the grant of new provincial bus franchises that has been a long-standing policy of the DOTC . Except for missionary and developmental routes, the DOTC has frozen the processing of applications for new provincial bus franchises .
The complaints said that while the national government has been pursuing major traffic decongestion plans for Metro Manila through funding from the public-private partnership (PPP), the LTFRB has been doing the reverse – granting provincial bus franchises that serve Metro Manila en masse .
Secretary Roxas has ordered the DOTC legal office to look into the Pantranco mess .
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