Bidding for Huey project fails for third time-A A +A
Friday, September 6, 2013
THE third bidding for the defense department's acquisition of 21 combat utility helicopters was stalled anew Friday.
The agency's Bids and Awards Committee declared a failure of bidding for the refurbished UH1H or Huey aircraft due to the failure of the lone bidder to comply with the set requirements.
This is the third time the bidding failed for the much-needed helicopters, which has an approved budget of P1.26 billion. The first bidding was held in December and the second one was last February.
The US-based Rice Aircraft Services Inc., which partnered with Eagle Copter, failed to satisfy the documentary requirements set by the body. Worse, one of the documents submitted was unsigned.
Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, who chairs the committee, said the Air Force will be directed to conduct a study on how to proceed with the project - part of the long-delayed modernization program.
"While it is unfortunate that we have to declare the (failed) bidding, we are still going to pursue the implementation of this project," Manalo said after the bidding proceedings in Camp Aguinaldo.
Manalo said he was "deeply saddened" for the failure in bidding. Nevertheless, the official said it was important that they comply with the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the government procurement act.
Under the rules, the committee can actually enter into a negotiated contract to implement the project when the bidding failed the second time. However, it pursued a third bidding when proponents initially showed interest in participating.
Asked if the mode of procurement will now be negotiated with the latest failure in bidding, Manalo said: "It can be a negotiated procurement...It's an option that we are going to consider."
The official assured that any action that will be pursued will be to the best interest of government.
Manalo said the Huey aircraft are urgently needed by the Air Force, including in the disaster and relief operations. The country is visited by an average of 20 typhoons each year.
Air Force vice commander Major General Raul Dimatatac said they badly need the Hueys "so we can accomplish the tasks given to the Philippine Air Force."
Equipped with machineguns, Huey helicopters are also used in the transport of troops and the logistics during combat operations. They are also used in the evacuation of casualties. (VR/Sunnex)