“If an employee is burdened with arduous tasks, that person could surely relax for a while in his desk, office, or outside of the same, but never in a comfort room,” the state auditors added. The COA has ordered the office of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to explain the P553,807.62 of around P6.4 million allotted for the renovation and repair of comfort rooms that was used for the installation of air-conditioning units and shower heaters. “We recommend that management provide justification why the installation of shower and air-conditioning units is necessary in the common comfort rooms and be allowed in audit,” the report said. MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) was flagged down by the Commission on Audit (COA) for spending over half a million pesos to install air-conditioning units and shower heaters in comfort rooms at its office. The COA also rejected the DND management’s response that the air-condition units and shower heaters in their toilets were to “encourage productivity and inspire creativity among employees.” “Public servants should not be spending on things which may be considered as luxuries,” the COA said. “The DND should use its resources for more valuable projects related to its mandate.” The COA also said that they expect the DND to submit a justification with legal basis for the facilities in question./PN
The Wisconsin men and women’s cross country teams will take their national rankings to Columbus, Ohio, when they take part in the Big Ten Conference Championships Sunday.The men will be looking to capture their ninth straight Big Ten title. They finished 13th in the Blue Race at the Pre-NCAA Invitational and are currently ranked No. 6 in the country. Head coach Jerry Schumacher’s team is much younger this year than in the past, with eight freshmen on the roster. “They’re a talented group, and they’re learning a lot as we go, but there’s all these expectations, and I don’t want to say pressure put on them — we put the most pressure on ourselves,” Schumacher said. “But these expectations that have been going on for a few years now — we’re expecting to see them compete like [a top-ranked team], and they’re making mistakes every time we’re out trying to do our job.”Schumacher will run nine athletes Sunday, five of whom will be scored. Juniors Stuart Eagon and Matt Withrow will lead the way for the Badgers.“They’re definitely going to be our upfront runners,” Schumacher said. “They also have the most experience. … Those two young men, they should really provide the upfront power that we need on such a young team.”The Badgers will need the younger runners to step up as well and help Eagon and Withrow. Schumacher took some advice from another UW coach in dealing with the team’s youth.“I was talking with Coach (Bo) Ryan the other day and he was talking about his squad,” Schumacher said. “We were just kind of talking, and he said he needs some young guys to play like juniors and seniors. Well, we need some of our young distance runners to run like juniors and seniors.”Coming off its fourth-place finish at the NCAA tournament last season, the women’s team currently holds a No. 21 ranking after finishing ninth in the Pre-NCAA Invite. Head coach Jim Stintzi’s team might lack the experience of last year’s squad, which finished second at the Big Ten Championships, but he has seen continued improvement as the season has progressed.“We’re running not necessarily a young team but an inexperienced team, and that team has gotten progressively better each week,” Stintzi said. “And this weekend will really be the true test of whether we’re going to step into sort of a national-caliber team — (a) top 10, top-15 type team, or whether we’ve got some more work to do in the last couple weeks of the season.”Freshman Cassie Hintz and sophomore Hanna Grinaker have been the team’s most consistent runners throughout the season, but Stintzi said he would like to see more production from the more seasoned athletes on the team.“It’s tough to be led by freshmen and sophomores,” Stintzi said. “Last year, we had ‘A Havahla Haynes and Katrina Rundhaug, and they were sort of anchors for us. So, I think that’s one of the reasons we’re just not quite where we should be right now.”The meet for both teams will take place Sunday at Ohio State, with the men starting at 10:30 a.m. and the women following at 11 a.m.