Transparency in the CCMC project
The disqualification of the lowest bidder for the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) project should start the ball rolling for a more transparent and accessible bidding process in this important hospital project.
The lowest bidder, the joint venture of Manila-based A.M. Oreta and Cebu-based WTG Construction and Development Corp., was disqualified for its failure to disclose accurate information on its qualifications to undertake Phase 1, for which they bid P275 million.
The hospital is too important to risk starting on the wrong foot.
A.M. Oreta, for one, didn’t finish a similar hospital project in Metro Manila within the last five years, contrary to what it stated in its bid documents to the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
These were red flags early on. The letterhead of the FEU Nicanor Reyes Medical Center carried the wrong address, stating it as Manila instead of Fairview, Quezon City. A bronze marker on the actual building showed a milestone year that didn’t jive with the claim of the contractor on paper.
WTG Construction and Development Corp. reported it was handling three projects, but failed to disclose 12 ongoing projects with DPWH in Central Visayas. Who’s trying to mislead who?
According to its request for reconsideration, WTG said its failure to disclose the actual number of projects it was undertaking was an “honest mistake.”
It’s hard to believe that a major contractor can’t remember its projects or is sloppy enough to report a wrong figure for a P275 million bid.
More eyes are needed in the process of identifying the best builder for the CCMC.
When Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama raised a howl over Cebu Daily News’ report about the BAC’s decision to disqualify the lowest bidder, that fury itself raised questions.
Was he angry about the disclosure or was he enraged about the BAC decision itself to disqualify a contractor?
He should have been pleased that members of his own Team Rama were so thorough in ferreting discrepancies in the bid papers of an aspiring builder of his pet project.
With Rama’s name so closely associated with the CCMC project, ambitious and noble as it is, the mayor should demand the most honest and ruthless bunch of evaluators in his BAC.
Any cloud of doubt, any whiff of suspicion that the first phase P300 million contract is tainted with gross irregularity will sink the project. The good will of donors and benefactors is still needed to raise additional funds for the P1.5 billion dream of a public hospital for Cebuanos in the capital city. They won’t help if the project is haunted by whispers of corruption.
And with barely a year to go to a reelection campaign in 2016, the Rama administration can’t afford that.
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