House panel asked to look into Palawan bidding issue

Published March 14, 2021, 5:09 PM

by Ben Rosario

Alleged irregularities in the proposed construction of a new market mall in a tourism town in Palawan has been brought to the attention of the House Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Probinsyano Ako Partylist Rep. Jose “Bonito” C. Singson, Jr.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Counsels of contractor MRRM Trading & Construction said copies of a letter complaint addressed to the municipal government of Brooke’s Point and its Bids and Awards Committee will be sent to the House public accounts panel.

The possibility of enacting a law that would address loopholes in the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act has been raised by the complaining contractor.

In a letter sent to the Brooke’s Point Bids and Awards Committee, lawyer Gioan Fernand A. Legaspi, representing MRRM, cited several violations of RA 9184 during the public bidding for the project.

The date of the opening of bids for the construction of the new market mall with roof deck was originally scheduled on February 1. It was postponed for February 10, then extended further to March 22.

However, on February 17, Brooke’s Point Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano issued a Notice of Cancellation of the project, citing “non-posting of Supplemental Bid Bulletins in the PhilGEPS website” as reason.

”Based on the series of letters submitted to your Honorable Office by MRRM, through its internal counsel Atty. Michael Umali, and of the reply letters thereto by the Honorable Mayor Feliciano, there are several irregularities found during the entire bidding process that certainly cannot go unnoticed,” said Legaspi.

Among the alleged irregularities is the alleged intervention of Feliciano in the bidding process as reportedly evidenced by her signing of letters to the MRRM.

“It must be noted that the local chief executive and other elective officials are disqualified from membership in the BAC and certainly cannot be a representative or member thereof,” Legaspi stressed.

“The cost of bidding documents was more than the amount set forth under RA 9184,” the MRRM legal counsel stressed.

Legaspi noted that there has been no participation of proper obrervers during the bidding process as required under RA 9184. A representative from the Commission on Audit is mandatory.

According to him the venue of the bidding was changed from Brooke’s Point to Puerto Princesa City.

“The foregoing irregularities found, among others, during the bidding process should not simply be ignored just because the scheduled bidding by the mere expediency of having it cancelled and aborted,’ the MRRM lawyer said.

 
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