SECTIONS
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Losing bidder questions bid results in court

A MEDICAL supplies firm brought the Cebu Provincial Government to court over the alleged abuse of discretion by Capitol officials in disqualifying them from joining a bidding due to its failure to comply with the technical requirement.

Manila-based Endure Medical Inc. (EMI) filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus against Gov. Hilario Davide III, the Capitol’s bids and awards committee (BAC), and 11 other medical suppliers before the Regional Trial Court.

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 in the Province.

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

Suppliers

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.

When asked for his comment on the complaint, Tolentino said has yet to go over it. “We will address it in 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, the Capitol BAC, however, 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.

Winners

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 P750,000 worth of supplies 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 public respondents unlawfully excluded EMI from the use and enjoyment of a right to which petitioner is entitled as a prospective bidder when they refused to perform their ministerial duty to implement the exact words, clear tenor and expressed intent,” the petition read.

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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