THE Dorper and Damara ewes and rams which the Provincial Government imported from Australia last year are overpriced by approximately P40 million, according to Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña.
Finding issue with the price, Peña
declined to buy the sheep.
said, based on information from at least three Australian livestock farmers, the Capitol's selling price per sheep is almost three to four times higher than the prevailing price per sheep in Australia, exclusive of importation costs.
He cited that Capitol purchased the ewes at A$230 per head and the rams at A$270 per head, or P10,559.32 and P12,395.70, respectively, based on an exchange rate of P45.91 to one Australian dollar.
research revealed that suppliers from the various ranges in Australia offered between A$65 (P2,984.15) to A$100 (P4,591.00) per ewe and A$100 (P4,591.00) to A$150 (P6,886.50) per ram.
stressed that those were the prices prevailing for the period 2009-2012.
Based on the lowest quoted price and Capitol's purchase price, exclusive of importation and other costs, there is a price difference of P7,575.17 per head or about P42 million for the entire 5,544 heads of ewes and a price difference of P7,804.70 per head or about P2.3 million for the entire 296 heads of rams, stated Peña
Based on the highest quoted price and Capitol's purchase price, exclusive of importation and other costs, there is a price difference of P5,968.32 per head or about P33 million for the entire 5,544 heads of ewes and a price difference of P5,509.20 per head or about P1.63 million for the entire 296 heads of rams, added Peña.
further computed in his
letter the difference between Capitol's selling price (P16,000 per ewe and P25,000 per ram) and the quotations he
gathered from other Australian sheep suppliers but, this time, inclusive of importation and other costs.
stated that there is a P50.5 million to P60 million difference between the total cost at which Capitol sold the sheep to the LGUs and the total cost based on prices prevailing in the Australian sheep market for 2009-2012, inclusive of importation and other costs.
The staggering price difference of P50.5 million to P60 million "showed how much money was spent by the government for the purchase of livestock at exorbitant prices when it could have bought the same at a much lower price tag," stated Peña
who pointed out that Capitol could have secured much lower prices because its purchase was in bulk.
"How would you explain therefore this obviously irregular transaction to the people of Negros Occidental who will pay with interest the money loaned out from Landbank and used in the purchase of this pricey livestock?
No other explanation could better answer this issue than to deduce from every reasonable man's conclusion that, "somebody really made profit along the way"," stated Peña
in his letter to Decena.