DND chief stops aircon installation in comfort rooms

The Department of National Defense (DND) has ordered the “discontinuance” of the renovation project involving the installation of air-conditioning units in the comfort rooms of the department’s main building in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, its spokesperson said Monday. 

This came after the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the DND for installing the air conditioning units and called the spending for the project unnecessary.

“In response to the said findings, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has ordered the discontinuance of the renovation project and removal from the said comfort rooms of the air conditioning units in question, which will instead be used in other approved facilities,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.

He added that the DND has taken note of the COA’s findings on the matter that were presented and discussed by the audit body during a mandatory exit interview held in February.

In a separate statement, Lorenzana said he respects the audit body’s mandate to ensure that government funds are properly spent.

“The COA is the body that evaluates if the people’s money is spent wisely. It does not mean that if a project has been approved by Congress, the COA can no longer audit it according to its mandate. It can disallow it or it can raise a red flag that the money has not been used properly,” he said.

The COA earlier said the remodeling and renovation of the comfort rooms violated the procurement law.

“We noted that in addition to the basic items inside the facilities, shower with heater was installed in the PWD rooms while air conditioning unit and shower with heater were installed in the male and female rooms totaling PHP553,807.62,” the report said. PNA.GOV.PH