Capitol reminded to conduct bidding for procurement of items

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


THE Cebu Provincial Government bought 19 multicab-ambuvans in 2011 and 2013 without a public bidding, according to a Commission on Audit (COA) report.

Although each vehicle cost P249,000, or a total of P4.731 million, the report said the procurement may have deprived the Capitol of the opportunity to buy the vehicles at the most advantageous price because there was no public bidding.

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“We recommend that BAC (bids and awards committee) submit a justification for its failure to observe the requirements of Republic Act (RA) 9184, (the Government Procurement Act),” COA said.

The state auditor recommended that all procurement must undergo public bidding, the general mode of procurement as mandated by the law, for the widest possible dissemination to increase the number of bidders and intensify competition.

The money for the purchase came from Sixth District Rep. Luigi Quisumbing’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The vehicles were purchased from a company owned by the congressman’s family.
Answerable

Even though the money came from Quisumbing’s pork barrel, COA said he no longer had control over it after it was released to the Capitol, through the Department of Budget Management, on Nov. 16, 2011.

The “mini” ambulances were distributed to barangays in the sixth district.

Capitol is answerable to COA since it had full control and supervision of the funds just as the Provincial Government is answerable for other legislators’ PDAF in its trust fund.

According to the report, 11 vehicles were first bought from Porta Coeli in 2011 at a cost of P2.739 million. The second batch, or eight vehicles, was bought from the same company for P1.992 million through direct contracting.

The invitation to bid for the first purchase, which had an approved budget of P2.75 million, was not advertised in the newspaper, as mandated by RA 9184.

Justification

The provincial treasurer, in his Feb. 2, 2012 justification letter, said “that a request was sent by the BAC secretariat, through E-mail, to a national newspaper (no name was mentioned) for the publication of the invitation to bid in their Dec. 9, 2011 issue.”

The treasurer had presumed that the request would be acted upon only to learn later on that it was not.

The Capitol also failed to present a printout from its website and hard copies of posting “on conspicuous places” to prove that it posted the invitation to bid.

The Capitol, however, posted one on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System but this was in April 2012, while the procurement was in 2011.

The second batch of eight vehicles was bought through direct contracting “on the basis of a certificate of sole manufacturer and distributorship of a four-wheel light vehicle with the brand name of multicab-ambuvan.”

But the report said there are several multicab dealers in Metro Cebu that sell various designs and customized to fit customers’ need “and maybe suitable substitutes at advantageous terms to the government if given the chance.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 04, 2014.

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