PROVINCIAL Administrator Mark Tolentino is now the chair of the Capitol Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), with lawyer Orvi Ortega moving down as vice chairman, and the five-man committee will resolve this week which security agency will guard Capitol-owned buildings.

This, after Black Pearl Security Agency, which initially had the best offer against other bidders, Tactical Security Agency and GDS Security Agency, was disqualified by BAC during the post-qualification proceedings.

When asked if Ortega’s demotion to vice chair stemmed from numerous criticisms the Provincial Attorney earned after BAC’s recommendation of Black Pearl as the winning bidder, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said no.

Ahead

The governor said he issued an order reorganizing BAC last May 29, and effective June 15, 2014.

“Nataymingan lang gyud nga naabtan ning issue sa Black Pearl (It was just timing),” said Davide.

BAC then, headed by Ortega, allowed Black Pearl to undergo post-bid qualification proceedings for having the best offer among bidders despite numerous criticisms for its deficiencies.

Reporters noted that some Capitol security guards have no service firearms and radio.

The guards also reportedly assumed the post on June 1 without due notice and despite that there was still no notice of award, no contract signed by the governor and no authority from the Provincial Board.

Ortega said the company volunteered its services even without notice of award.

Tolentino echoed the governor’s stand, that they were not pressured by numerous criticisms to reorganize BAC and replace its head as this was already planned before the security issue hit the news, said Tolentino.

“The governor sent us to a seminary sometime in March before the bidding happened,” said Tolentino.

Capitol BAC members and officers learned from the seminar that there should only be one BAC, which was not the case with the Cebu Province, which had a BAC for infrastructure, headed by Tolentino; and a BAC for services and goods, headed by Ortega.

After the seminar, Davide issued an executive order reorganizing the BAC and merging it into one.

“The idea to have it reorganize came ahead of this security mess,” said Tolentino.

When they met last Friday, June 20, Tolentino said the five-member BAC chose him to be the chair and Ortega as the vice chair.

The five are Tolentino, Ortega, Provincial General Services acting head Siegfred Sepe, Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora and Provincial Assessor Alma Sibonga.

Tolentino said they will, after Davide approved their recommendation, post-qualify the remaining two bidders, Tactical and GDS security agencies, and form a technical working group to assess them.

They will then send the governor their recommendation for the latter’s signature and approval.

The PB will then authorize the signing of the MOA between Capitol and the winning security agency.

It can be recalled that last June 4, Davide announced that Black Pearl won the bidding based on recommendation of Ortega’s BAC because of the agency’s available equipment and tools, contrary to negative reports.

On June 11, a Black Pearl guard accidentally shot a habal-habal driver inside a Capitol-owned property in Barangay Apas.

Last June 12, Davide decided to terminate its temporary engagement with Black Pearl after a guard was caught sleeping on the job, while another one had no license to work.

The governor formally terminated its engagement the next day, June 13.

On June 16, the day after Davide reorganized the BAC, the governor disqualified Black Pearl as the winning bidder based on the committee’s recommendation during the post-qualification evaluation.

Sun.Star Cebu called Ortega in his office, but the secretary said he is on leave until today (Tuesday) and his cellphone could not be reached. (OCP)