Ombudsman probes Sanitarium Hospital execs over fund ‘misuse’

The office of the Ombudsman Visayas ordered officials of Western Visayas Sanitarium General Hospital (WVSGH) to answer administrative and criminal cases filed by the hospital’s accountant and budget officer.

In an order dated July 21, 2023, Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Dante Vargas ordered the following WVSGH officials to file their reply-affidavits:

-Judy Ann T. Dumayas, hospital chief

-Pedro S. Sisnorio Jr., administrative assistant II

-Maria Mhee A. Magnifico, administrative officer V

-Noriel Gumban, cash operation head and planning officer

-Gemma M. Suelo, Medical Professional Service Division chief

-Ronar L. Silao, Medical Clinical Service Division chief

-Junalen S. Capanang of the Nursing Service Division and executive committee

-Grace S. Piamonte, head of General Services and Internal Administrative Management Department

All are respondents in the administrative case docketed as OMB-V-A-JUL-23-0194 for Illegal Use of Public Funds (Technical Malversation), Usurpation of Authority, Grave Misconduct, Abuse Of Authority; Violation of Section 85 and 86 of PD 1445, LOI 968 and Section 40, Chapter 5, Book VI of EO 292, Conspiracy, Section 3 (A) (F) (G) (I) of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft And Corrupt Practices Act).

Meanwhile, Dumayas, Sisnorio, Magnifico, Silao, Suelo, and Piamonte are respondents in the criminal case docketed as OMB-V-C-JUL-23-0180 for alleged Violation of Section 3 (a) and (f) of RA 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; Abuse of Authority; Grave Misconduct, Gross Neglect of Duty; Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RRACCS), Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service

The cases were filed by Conrado G. Sorongon Jr., WVSGH accountant; and Gervill O. Guartero, incumbent Administrative Officer I/Budget Officer-Designate of WVSGH.

The charges stemmed from the reorganization of WVSGH that paved the way for the creation of two additional offices – the Medical Professional Service and the Medical Clinical Service – in November 2021.

Citing the Revised Organizational Structure and Staffing Standards for Government Hospital, “Model Organizational Structure,” the complainants claimed that “the existing organizational set-up of WVSGH does not conform with the basic organizational units provided under Level 1 retained General Hospital.”

They also alleged that “the creation/revision of WVSGH Organizational Structure is beyond the policy determining matter of the Executive Committee of a Level 1 General Retained Hospital.”

The creation of the new offices meant hiring of additional personnel who were paid using WVSGH’s income.

But Sorongon and Guartero alleged that the hiring of additional personnel were not covered by a certification of availability of funds from the accountant and budget officer.

They cited the “38 contracts of service (COS) personnels (sic) were paid by the respondents without the accompanying contracts and other supporting documents and without the signature of the accountant and of the budget officer as to the availability of funds.”

The pay of these 38 COS personnel totaled P2.8 million, the complainants claimed.

Sorongon and Guartero also cited the signing and payment of 239 COS amounting to P9.2 million in December 2022 sans “signature of the chief accountant as witness and certification as to availability of funds.”

They also accused Magnifico of allegedly “misrepresenting” herself as Administrative Officer V when she entered into 239 Contracts of Services (COS) for the month of December 2022 to March 2023. The contracts were notarized on January 3, 2023.

The complainants also charged the respondents of violating Civil Service rules in the promotion of some personnel, falsification of the performance ratings of hospital employees which affected the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) of some workers, among other cases.

Daily Guardian is still trying to get the comments of the respondents.