Governor should go deeper

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Friday, June 6, 2014


So Gov. Hilario Davide III defended the bidding procedure conducted by the provincial bids and awards committee PBAC) to obtain a security provider for the Capitol building and other Provincial Government-owned facilities? Davide said the bidding was above board and strictly followed Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law.

Representatives of the three participating security agencies--Black Pearl, Tactical and GDS--were invited to witness the opening of the bids.

Everything was transparent, the governor told reporters in a press conference as he denied insinuations that the bidding was rigged.

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Are you sure, Governor? I pity you because you swallowed hook, line and sinker the report of Provincial Attorney Orvi Ortega, who is also the chairman of the PBAC.

In my interview with him over dySS Super Radyo last Wednesday, Ortega failed to explain why security guards from Black Pearl had to take over the posts from Tactical when the PBAC has yet to decide to award the contact to Black Pearl? The PBAC still has to conduct post-qualification assessment before a notice of award and notice to proceed can be issued to Black Pearl and the contract signed.

So technically, everything is not final yet. Ortega and Jone Siegfred Sepe, officer-in-charge of the Provincial General Services Office, are now pointing at each other as to who ordered the hasty takeover by Black Pearl last June 1 upon the expiration of Tactical's contract with Capitol.

Ortega claimed that he had nothing to do with it because he was merely in charge of the bidding process. What happened, he said, was an operational matter.

Guards from Tactical who reported for work last May 31 claimed it was Sepe who ordered them to pull out on June 1 because guards from Black Pearl will take over their posts.

Who gave Sepe the authority to give such an order? He should have waited until the PBAC awards the contract to Black Pearl.

It's a case of putting the cart before the horse. Even the governor admitted this lapse. And why did PBAC not finalize everything before May 31 when they knew that Tactical's contract would expire on that day?

What was the reason for the immediate take over by Black Pearl? Is it true that there were promises of “commissions” made to some of the governor's “trusted men”?

Of course, nobody will say that it is true. But if it is, did it reach the ears of the governor? I am asking him to dig deeper into this matter. I am also urging the Provincial Board to investigate this.

According to Ortega, they are “inclined” to award the contract to Black Pearl because it has the best offer as far as logistics is concerned. The three agencies offered the amount of more than P37 million for a two-year contract. Black Pearl supposedly has the advantage in terms of the number of firearms. But where are those firearms now?

During the security agency's takeover, some of their security guards were seen unarmed. It has been almost a week now but the guards Black Pearl posted in the district hospitals don't have firearms yet, including the guard manning the outpost at the back of GMA 7 broadcast complex in Nivel Hills, Apas where a provincial lot is located.

PBAC members should not only look at one aspect. Does the “winning bidder” have the personnel, logistical and technical support and financial capability? Still, if members of the PBAC are blinded because of some promises made, what can we do? Is this “tuwid na daan,” Governor?

Another thing that is worth looking into is the bidding for fuel supply at the Capitol. The winner is reportedly not into the gasoline business but is a vehicle supplier. Siyaro wa gyoy kompaniya nga naa sa oil distribution business ang mi-apil sa bidding. Makapaduda gihapon.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 07, 2014.

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