SECTIONS
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Losing bidder’s complaint prospers

CAPITOL officials and 11 suppliers of medical supplies were ordered to answer the petition filed by a losing bidder relative to the purchase of medical supplies and equipment for various district hospitals in the Province.

Regional Trial Court Judge Gilbert Moises gave the respondents 10 days to file their answer to the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed by Manila-based Endure Medical Inc. (EMI) against Gov. Hilario Davide III, the Capitol’s bids and awards committee (BAC), and 11 other medical suppliers before the Regional Trial Court.

Moises, also the Cebu City RTC executive judge, ordered the respondents to submit their answer after finding the petition “to be sufficient in form and substance.”

In August, EMI, the only losing bidder, asked the court to nullify Capitol’s decision declaring them as ineligible to join the bidding for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment for various district hospitals.

Apart from Davide, also named respondents were Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino, the BAC chair; Alma Sibonga, BAC vice-chairman; BAC members Hector Jamora, Jone Siegfred Sepe, and Melita Labarejos; and provincial lawyers Orvi Ortega and Donato Villa, Jr. 

The private respondents are Berovan Marketing, Inc., Blue Sky Trading, Cebu Far Eastern Drugs, Inc., RG Meditron, Inc., Colonie Enterprises, D&C Drugstore and Gen. Merchandise, Euro-Med Lab Phils., J-Khezznov Trading Industries, Inc., Metro Drug, Inc., Pharmaceutica Filipina de Visayas and Zuellig Pharma-Cebu.

Answer

Ortega, the Provincial Legal Office (PLO) head, and Provincial Administrator and BAC chairman Mark Tolentino said they are now studying their legal answer to the court’s order. They will submit it within 10 days as ordered by the court, he said.

Capitol offered for bidding the procurement contracts for various medical supplies and equipment for the district hospitals in the Province. 

During the bid opening last May 5, 2015, however, the Capitol BAC declared EMI’s bids as ineligible for failure to comply with the technical requirement, pursuant to the invitation to bid. 

EMI failed to submit at least one form of bid security in addition to the bid securing declaration. 

The petitioner said it would have been the lowest bidder had Capitol not disqualified them from joining the bidding.

EMI filed a motion for reconsideration, but the Capitol’s BAC denied it.

Subsequently, Capitol awarded the notices of awards to the medical suppliers. 

Cebu Far Eastern was awarded the contract to supply P4.32 million worth of supplies, Colonie Enterprises was awarded a contract to supply P3.4 million worth of supplies, and another contract for P750,000 worth of supplies was awarded to RG Meditron.

Blue Sky Trading was also awarded a contract for P1.33 million worth of supplies. 

The other suppliers that were awarded contracts are J-Khezznov Trading (P536,597), D&C Drugstore (P269, 233), Berovan (P225,241), Metro Drug, (P9,450); Pharmaceutica Filipina (P20,735); Zuellig Pharma (P38,165). 

In the petition, EMI argued that as a bidder, it has the option to submit only a bid security declaration as a bid security. 

The respondents allegedly failed to perform and violated their statutory duty and contravened the public policies and principles behind competitive public bidding. 

Apart from seeking to declare them as eligible to join the bidding, EMI also asked the court to order the respondents to jointly pay them P500,000 for nominal damages and P500,000 for attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. 
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