Capitol to vote after Sinulog on P250M equipment contract
The fate of a P250-million contract for the supply of heavy equipment will be decided after the Sinulog when the Provincial Board (PB) resumes its session on January 18.
That’s when they will vote whether or not to grant the request of Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III to authorize him to sign the contract with the winning bidder Conequip.
Yesterday the PB Ad Hoc Committee, tasked to evaluate bidding documents submitted by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), met behind closed doors yesterday.
The chairperson, PB Member Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero, declined to comment after the meeting.
Other members were PB Members Peter John Calderon, Raul Alcoseba, Miguel Antonio Magpale, Joven Mondigo Jr., Jude Sybico, and Arleigh Sitoy.
Other legislators asked to attend as well.
“Everybody committed to come here except PB Member (Thadeo) Ouano who is on leave,” said Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale.
Allegations of overpricing and complaints have been raised by non-winning bidders about the choice of Conequip which initially gave the “highest” bid.
Governor Davide in press conferences said the process was above board and that all interested parties were given a fair chance to submit bids for evaluation even as RDK and its partner was later post-disqualified by the BAC for submitted misleading finance documents.
PB Member Sun Shimura, who earlier opposed the transaction, said that based on his review, transaction is “anomalous” and recommended that a “re-bidding be done instead just remove the doubts.”
“That can’t be helped especially that it’s political season,” he said in an interview.
Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino, BAC chairman, and General Services Office head Jone Sepe, BAC vice chairman, were invited to explain the procurement process to PB members yesterday.
Sepe said they were allowed to leave after answering technical questions.
The closed-door meeting was still going on as of 5 p.m. yesterday.
Asked about Shimura’s recommendation, Sepe said the BAC is open to that possibility.
“We did not discuss that during the meeting because in case they don’t grant authority to the governor, we will automatically rebid,” he said.
Sepe said the Capitol already has a loan approval and that money has already been set aside for the equipment purchase.
Sepe said anybody who wishes to join, even those that were post-disqualified in the recent bidding, may do so.
“We are open to rebidding if they think that is best for the government. The ball is in their hands now so they will decide,” he added.
If legialtors vote not to grant authority to the governor, it’s up to Davide whether to hold a rebidding or forego the procurement altogether.
In a press conference, Governor Davide said he trusts the Capitol BAC and that “If there are doubts, if some people think there’s an anomaly or that someone is getting a commission out of this—that’s not true.”
Davide said the BAC followed the law and rules on procurement, adding that attacks on the provincial government are brought about by the heat of the election season.
If anyone has complaints about the BAC, they should file the appropriate cases in court, said Davide.
He said he will not go after those who attack him and the provincial government since it is only a “waste of time.”
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.