LAWYER Winston Garcia, standard bearer of One Cebu party, questioned the two consultancy services sought by the Provincial Government, which have a total cost of more than P80 million.

In a press conference, Garcia showed three documents about the consultancy services, which he described as scandalous, unnecessary and a scam.

Garcia got these documents through the Provincial Government’s official website under the transparency category, specifically the bids and awards committee (BAC) section.

Capitol posted advertisement 15-0116 last Sept. 11, which is a request for expression of interest for consultancy services for the first phase development of disaster risk reduction-climate change adaptation (DRR-CAA) and contingency plans with an approved budget for the contract (ABC) of P26.2 million.

Another request for expression of interest with advertisement number 15-0091 was posted last Sept. 3, which are consultancy services for the preparation of detailed architectural and engineering design, feasibility study and construction supervision for a proposed 12-story building in Capitol compound with an ABC of P57 million.

Questionable figures

Garcia asked how the Capitol came up with the amount when these are only for consultancy services.

He said Capitol indicated that it was a request for expression of interest, but if one will look at the body of the documents, “it is actually an invitation to bid.”

“These are the two projects sa Kapitolyo nga makita nimo, di lang (of the Capitol that are) unnecessary but scandalous and very questionable. I cannot understand why Capitol would use Yolanda for political purposes,” Garcia said.

Garcia believes that this is already an invitation to bid because the Capitol already called for the submission of eligibility documents.

According to the two documents for consultancy services, “The BAC shall draw up the short list of consultants from those who have submitted eligibility of documents and expression of interest and have been determined eligible in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act, and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.”

For the consultancy services for the development of DRR-CAA and contingency plan, Garcia said the Capitol even restricted it to non-government organizations accredited by the Province.

Aside from that, he said there are no clear parameters on what will be produced by the consultancy services which are worth P26 million.

“Tataw kaayo nga kaning P26 million gamiton nila para sa eleksyon (It is very clear that they will just use the money for the election). We will definitely question this. We will bring this out to the Commission on Audit and if possible we will file criminal charges if they proceed with the award of this consultant,” he said.

Press statement

In a separate interview, Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera said they will give a press statement today.

“We are not hiding anything. Everything is transparent,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

For the P57 million consultancy services, Garcia asked why the Capitol did not use the Provincial Engineering Office for this.

“If your consultancy services is P57 million, normally, for the construction of the building that’s seven percent of the construction cost. That’s SOP. And you ask any architect. Motakdo kaayo nga (It would show that the cost of the 12-story building is) P800 million,” Garcia added.

He said the Capitol should have used the amount for upgrading the hospitals or helping the typhoon Yolanda survivors.

Former congresswoman Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, Garcia’s runningmate, said the amount should have been used to build sturdy evacuation centers for the typhoon survivors.