Biz leaders okay with unsolicited proposals

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita January 28,2018 - 10:09 PM

Business leaders in Cebu were amenable to the Duterte administration’s plans to do away with the bidding process in favor of unsolicited proposals for projects.

Melanie Ng, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said effective use of government funds through a fast and efficient process in executing projects is what the country “desperately needs.”

“So, as long as the rule of law is followed, a process that creates faster results is a welcome development,” she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he wants to replace the bidding process with unsolicited proposals and a Swiss Challenge system for projects.
He said the bidding process only caused delays and even bred corruption.

Under the Swiss Challenge system, government agencies that receive unsolicited proposals for a project from a private group would have to invite third parties to match or offer better proposals. The original proponents can make counterbids.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) immediate past president Glenn Soco said he welcomes the President’s initiative.

“I think the present system of awarding the contracts to the lowest complying bidder did not really work for us. So, we have to welcome new ideas,” he said.

Under the current procurement law, government agencies are required to bid out public works or services projects and the lowest bidder is normally awarded the contract unless they are found to be underqualified for the project.

Soco, who chairs the infrastructure development committee of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7, said finding the most responsive and advantageous project proponents should be prioritized more than the bid amount.

He said government should also look at best practices in other countries on how they bid their projects.

Localizing projects, so that Cebu-based or Cebuano contractors should undertake projects in Cebu is also an important aspect to look into, Soco said.
He said contractors from other areas would incur additional costs which could force them to recover costs and result in substandard projects.

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