Rigged bidding?

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Sunday, June 1, 2014


WAS the bidding to provide security guards at the Capitol compound and other Capitol-owned facilities rigged? I pose this question because, according to my source, the winning security agency lacks the qualifications to participate in the bidding.

The guards of Tactical Security Agency, which had been tasked to secure the Capitol compound and other provincial properties since during the time of former governor Gwendolyn Garcia, were given until yesterday afternoon to report for duty.

Black Pearl Security Agency, the winning bidder, was ordered to take over after that.

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Black Pearl offered to absorb the guards of its predecessor but they refused because they were afraid they would receive a much smaller pay since Black Pearl is a relatively newer agency compared to Tactical.

In outsourcing janitorial and security services, if the client cannot pay on time the service provider, it is the latter that will shoulder the salaries and wages of its personnel. And you know the bureaucracy in government transactions. Suppliers and service providers have a hard time collecting payments. A catering service filed a case against Cebu City Hall for a long overdue collection. While a sports uniform manufacturer has also been demanding payments from City Hall for uniforms delivered as far back as five years ago. Makig-transaksiyon gani mo sa gobiyerno gikinahanglan kag taas nga pisi or pundo. Moabuno usa ka sa dili pa ka bayaran.

Tactical has a standing collectible amounting to P12 million for the more than 200 security personnel it posted in various provincial government assignments. I have learned that its monthly average contract with the Capitol is P2.6 million so the Capitol must be six months behind in payment.

Imagine how much the agency will shoulder if the client cannot pay on time. If you recall, the janitorial service owned by former Talisay City vice mayor Alan Bucao pulled out from Capitol after incurring heavy payables to its employees after Capitol failed to settle its obligation to the agency on time.

Tactical, Black Pearl and GDS agency participated in the bidding. The Provincial Bids and Awards Committee awarded the contract to Black Pearl for offering the lowest bid. But according to my source, Black Pearl should have not been allowed to participate because it has no certificate from the Social Security System, which is one of the requirements. There is also a provision in the bidding process that only agencies that have been in existence for five years can join the bidding. Black Pearl was only organized in 2011.

Well, we all know that bidding process is sort of a requirement and compliance with Commission on Audit rules and regulations. But I don’t think it’s all aboveboard.

Definitely it can be rigged if members of the bids and awards committee play favoritism or wait who gives the best “under the table.” Is Gov. Hilario Davide III, who is following P-Noy’s anti-corruption campaign, aware on this? Pakibusisi kuno ani, Mr. Governor. Basin og nagmata lang ka og buntag diha sa mga dautang binuhatan sa imong mga tawo.

***

I have learned that the position of director of the Commission on Elections 7 is vacant after Timmy Lambino was reassigned to his hometown in Region 3. Rafael Olano, who was the former assistant regional director of the National Capitol Region, has been designated as officer-in-charge.

I’ve learned that there are two homegrown election officers who are interested in the position. Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano is applying for the position. But he expressed fear that some politicians who have an ax to grind against him might block his application and appointment. The camp of former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña is reportedly endorsing City South Election Supervisor Edwin Cadungog.

Why? Is the appointment of election officers also tainted with political color? No one can be assigned here without the recommendation, endorsement and backing of
politicians? Any appointment for that matter should be based on qualifications and credentials of the applicant and not on the basis of political considerations. If you think you are qualified for the position, go, go Atty. Castillano. Even if it is you against the world.

(Bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 02, 2014.

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