Governor’s reasons are flimsy

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Friday, June 13, 2014


GOV. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III decided to terminate the services of Black Pearl Security Agency (BPSA) effective today.

The reasons? Because of the inconsistency of the agency during post-qualification evaluation. And because its guard assigned in Calvary Hills in Barangay Apas accidentally fired his gun, hitting a habal-habal driver. Another guard was caught by Capitol's security officer Loi Madrigal sleeping in his post. Another guard had no license.

For me, those reasons are flimsy and only used by Capitol to save face. Why doesn't the governor humbly admit that they committed a blunder when they immediately allowed Blue Pearl to take over from Tactical Security Agency last June 1 even without a contract?

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If the good governor will admit that something was wrong in the conduct of the bidding, I will doff my hat to him. And the more I will salute him if he will fire Orvi Ortega as chairman of the Provincial Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC).

Ortega and Jone Siegfred Sepe, officer-in-charge of the General Services Office, caused this controversy, which has tainted the honorable governor's “matuwid na daan” policy. But if the two have delicadeza, they should resign from their respective posts.

Again, I am warning the governor, don't trust the people around you. Capitol is now a snake pit.

When this controversy cropped up last week, the governor told reporters that if the contract won’t be awarded to Black Pearl, the agency will still be paid for the services it rendered. But during his press conference the other day, he said, “The agency might not be paid.” Pag-sure diha Gob uy.

It's unfair for Black Pearl if its guards won’t be paid for the number of days it secured the Capitol and other province-owned properties and facilities. More so if they want Black Pearl to pay the guards even if it cannot collect even a single centavo from the Capitol. Come on.

With the governor’s decision, what will happen next? Will PBAC declare a failure of bidding and conduct another one? If that happens, can Black Pearl participate in that bidding?

This would not have happened had the PBAC conducted the bidding a month before the expiration of Tactical's contract. The problem was, Ortega convened the PBAC ten days before the expiration knowing that there are many procedures to be followed, like the post qualification evaluation.

And they should not have allowed Black Pearl to take over without a contract. Or they could have allowed Tactical to extend its service for a month until everything has been finalized.

Bidding is a long process. After PBAC, it goes to the Provincial Board (PB) for review. The PB will then pass a resolution authorizing the governor to sign contract with the winning bidder.

The Davide administration criticized former governor Gwen Garcia for bypassing the authority of the PB in several transactions. The Commission on Audit disallowed those transactions. It ordered the Provincial Government to collect the amount paid to contractors and suppliers during Garcia's administration. But what the Davide administration criticized, it is practicing now.

Here's my suggestion to PBAC if it conducts another round of bidding. Invite media people and concerned citizens to witness the bidding process.

PBAC members should also conduct actual and physical inspection of the qualified bidders and not merely rely on the papers submitted by the bidders.

On paper, Black Pearl had the advantage over the other two bidders in terms of logistics like the number of firearms. But when it took over its guards did not have guns. Di dakong binuang.

What I mean by actual and physical inspection is to line up the guards and inspect their compliance with the requirements, from firearms and other logistical support to their individual licenses. And don't allow the winning bidder to take over if there is no contract yet.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 14, 2014.

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