GOV. Hilario Davide III declared a failure of bidding yesterday, which means the Provincial Government will start over in the hiring of Capitol security guards.

"In light of the recent controversy involving Black Pearl Agency and in order to dispel all doubts, real and imagined, on the integrity of the Provincial Government's bidding process, I have decided, as head of the procuring agency, to declare a failure of bidding," Davide stated in his letter to Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman Mark Tolentino.

Davide also asked BAC to review and initiate changes in the bid document's terms of reference.

When reporters asked Tolentino if Black Pearl can bid again, he said, “I don't know the effect when we post-disqualified them; we have to look further into that if it is provided under Republic Act 9184.”

The law quoted is the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Tolentino clarified that the two agencies earlier disqualified may bid again.

But they will be subjected to the same qualification standard.

Tolentino said the Capitol is looking at completing the bidding within a month.

He hopes to finalize the terms of reference this week and put out the publication announcement and other requirements at around the same time.

Davide hinted the need to revise the terms of reference when he said in his letter, "A two-year security services contract might be too long and unduly limits the provincial government's prerogative to seek better services in the future should they be available."

Davide said that his move is in line with his administration's promise of transparency.

He believes declaring the bidding as failure is appropriate and rebidding must follow.

Further, Davide directed BAC to invite civil society organization and the media to observe the bidding.

Davide did not wait for the Government Procurement Policy Board's clarification anymore.

He earlier requested the board to make a ruling on the inconsistencies noted by the BAC in the checklist of Black Pearl's bid document.

To recall, Davide declared Black Pearl Security the winning bidder based on the recommendation of BAC head Atty. Orvi Ortega last June 4.

Exactly a week later, a Black Pearl security guard accidentally shot a habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) driver.

The next day, June 12, a guard was caught sleeping on the job while another failed to produce a security guard license.

That same day, Davide terminated the contract with the security agency.

Capitol is now being secured by the Civil Security Unit.

Davide eventually reorganized BAC and disqualified Black Pearl on June 16.

Capitol will again call security agencies for another round of public bidding.