Nalzaro: ‘Bidding-bidding’ at the Capitol

THE re-bidding conducted by the Cebu Provincial Government for the purchase of some P252 million worth of light and heavy equipment has raised more questions than answers. The Provincial Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) may award the contract to the ConEquip/RDAK consortium as it was the only one that submitted a bid price during the opening of the bids last week.

Other suppliers initially showed interest to participate in the bidding but for reasons only known to them they did not submit their bid price. These suppliers are contemplating on questioning the bidding procedure or file a case against the members of the PBAC headed by Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino.

First question: How come ConEquip and RDAK formed a consortium when they earlier “slugged it out” in the first bidding, with ConEquip winning? These two companies are supposedly “arch competitors” in the supply of heavy equipment. Did a PBAC official convince them to form a joint venture so they could win the bid? I doubt if the two companies initiated this move.

Second, how come ConEquip/RDAK's bid price was lowered to P227 million, a difference of around P25 million from the original bid price? Why did ConEquip not submit the same bid price it presented in the first bidding?

To recall, ConEquip's first bid price in the first bidding, which was declared a failure by Gov. Junjun Davide III, was P252 million. RDAK's bid price at that time was a little bit lower, so too that of Civic Merchandising. ConEquip won even if it offered the highest bid. Now Atty. Tolentino bragged that with the bid price of ConEquip/RDAK, the provincial government could save millions of pesos.

Naa ra man diay na. Nganong sa first bidding ang pinakataas nga presyo man hinuon ang midaog kun ang tumong makadaginot ang Kapitolyo? Tiaw nimo nga gitakdo ra gyud sa ConEquip ang entiro presyo. Perdi-gana man tong ila. In a bidding, the one offering the lowest bid always gets the contract, unless there are other compelling reasons not to award the contract to the winning bidder.

Third, why did the PBAC not officially invite to the bidding ConEquip's sister company, The Mighty Brothers, which offered a lower price for a Howo dump truck to a private company in Mandaue City? The offer price for that China-made dump truck was only P1.5 million a unit. ConEquip offered it to the provincial government during the first bidding at P5 million. Imagine the price difference.

Fourth, how come the PBAC suddenly changed its requirements and specifications? Earlier, the PBAC specified that the equipment to be supplied should meet G-7 standards. Meaning, the equipment should be made by countries under G-7, which is composed of rich and highly industrialized nations. China is not a member of G-7. Did BAC delete that requirement to favor a supplier?

Added to the requirements for the bidders later on was that they should have an office and service center here in Cebu. One of the bidders, which is based in Manila, complained that to have an office and service center here is immaterial because they are just a phone call away.

If there are mechanical defects encountered, the truck would not be brought to a service center, anyway. The supplier will just send its technical people directly to the site where the equipment is located. Maayo man na og awto kay pwedeng dad-on sa service center. This requirement is obviously favoring Cebu-based companies. I say this is a case of “changing the rules in midstream.”

Mao nay giingon nga “bidding-bidding” ra na. Ang makalolooy mao si Gov. Davide kun iya nang pirmahan ang contract to award. Siya maoy makiha. Aw, gawas pod kun siyay nagsugo. Ingna kog bakakon.

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)
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