by: Rodrigo S. Victoria
NAVAL, Biliran – The Office of the Ombudsman (OMB)-Visayas here in Region 8 has intensified its campaign to curb if not eliminate the unauthorized or illegal use of government vehicles through an inter-agency task force lead by the agency dubbed “Operation Red Plate”.
Julius N. Oballo, associate graft investigator I of OMB-8, who is one of the team leaders of the “Operation Red Plate” in Region 8, informed that the anti-graft agency has observed the “rampant and unconscionable use of government vehicles”.
Oballo added that the unauthorized or illegal use of government vehicles has incurred a loss to the government, estimated to reach P9M per week based on a news report.
“This is a big loss to the government coffer” he said.
He assured that employees and officials of the government caught using government vehicles unofficially or without proper travel documents will be charged administratively or criminally depending on the gravity of the offense committed after the conduct of proper investigation by concerned agencies.
OMB-8 which was established in Region 8 on July 4, 2011 has conducted “Operation Red Plate” in the region in July this year in the City of Tacloban and in the cities of Ormoc and Baybay in August this year.
Based on the OMB-8 record, a total of 121 government vehicles in Tacloban and 34 government vehicles in the cities of Baybay and Ormoc were flagged down during the two inter-agency task force “Oplan Red Plate” operations.
Oplan Red Plate is composed of the Office of the Ombudsman as the lead agency, Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine National Police (PNP), Commission on Audit (COA), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8 Naval Biliran).