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Councilor Hontiveros dismisses overpricing claims in 2024 Palaro procurements

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 21,2024 - 04:13 PM

Hontiveros incentives

Cebu City Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros speaks in this May 2022 photo.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – City Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros debunked allegations of overpriced procurements for the 2024 Palarong Pambansa.

Hontiveros is the overseer of the national multi-sport event to be hosted in Cebu City. The city won its bid to host the 2024 Philippine National Games on August 5, 2023, with the Cebu City Government allocating P400 million for hosting the event.

The issue of Palaro overpriced procurements came to light following the immediate suspension of the procurement process on May 20 by acting mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, pending a review of the proposals.


Raymond Garcia suspends new Palaro procurements pending review

He asked for three days to thoroughly review all procurement transactions associated with Palaro. During this time, he will identify which transactions will be given priority and which ones will be postponed.

The suspension includes various activities, such as bidding, issuing notices of award, notices to proceed, purchase orders, contracts, and any other pre-award activities, including those under “alternative methods of procurement.”

Garcia said he received tips from “well-meaning individuals” and information from some City Hall offices about items proposed for purchase that are not actually necessary.

Earlier on May 20, at 7:11 a.m., Cebuano vlogger Jason Monteclar discussed the alleged overpriced procurements by Cebu City Hall on his official Facebook page.

“Maka-cancer man nang kantidara,” Monteclar said, referring to the budget for the procurement plan for the sporting event.

(That value can cause cancer.)

Budget for portable toilets

But Hontiveros clarified some of the procurements, particularly the P21 million budget for portable toilets and showers, which has now been reduced to P18 million.

He stated that the supplier lowered the price from 21 million to 18 million pesos upon learning that there was another bidder.

Hontiveros justified the P18 million budget by explaining that it covers 478 units and includes not only the units themselves but also the supplier’s services for installation and cleaning over 17 days, from June 30 to July 17.

While he agreed with acting mayor Garcia’s decision to temporarily suspend the procurement process, Hontiveros stated that it is “unfair” for people to make assumptions based on unfounded allegations.

“Agree ko sa gubuhat ni acting mayor to suspend sa tanan nga procurements kay wala pa man siya kabalo sa mga procurements. If I’m the acting mayor, I would do the same,” he said.

(I agree with what the acting mayor did, which to suspend all procurements because he still doesn’t know about the procurements. If I’m the acting mayor, I would do the same.)

Hontiveros also mentioned that they have already met with the acting mayor, where they thoroughly explained the details of the procurements.

P11 million procurement for tumblers

Since the procurement process is still suspended, he said they would await the final decision of the acting mayor and are willing to adjust some of the procurement budgets if necessary.

He also clarified that the P11 million procurement for tumblers actually includes other supplies such as hygiene kits and t-shirts.

Hontiveros explained that the budget covers 12,000 tumblers, t-shirts, and hygiene kits, which are intended for the athletes and their coaches.

“Tanan ga-agi gyud na og bidding. Tanang i-procure padung gyud na sa athletes and [delegates],” he said.

(Everything goes through bidding. Everything procured goes to the athletes and delegates.)

Meanwhile, Lawyer Lucio Avergonzado, chief of staff for Hontiveros, addressed the issue of the vlogger’s allegations. He noted that Jason’s claims appeared defamatory and malicious due to suggesting that half of the councilors were taking kickbacks.

Avergonzado also mentioned that there are grounds for filing a legal case against Monteclar. However, the lawyer said Councilor Hontiveros decided not to pursue legal action.


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TAGS: Cebu City, government

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