• ‘Blacklisted’ contractor awarded with P134-M project


    Further investigation of reports of alleged irregularities in transactions at the Region 12 office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Koronadal City showed that even notorious contractors get awarded with juicy projects.

    After I initially revealed in this column on Monday the “bizzare” conduct of biddings at that regional office, my report was confirmed by well-placed sources.

    I was even provided with information on the questionable awarding of contract to one contractor, the Saranggani Rock Mixer owned by one Catalina “Baby” Joven, who won last January 19 bidding for the road widening of General Santos Highway worth P134 million.

    It turned out that Joven’s construction company has had two “slippages” or negative reports, one in Cotabato City and one in Davao del Sur, in their previous road projects but were still allowed by Regional 12 Director Reynaldo Tamayo and Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Basir Ibrahim.

    Contractors with slippage or negative reports are supposed to be blacklisted and banned from participating in DPWH biddings.

    According to my informants, Ibrahim allowed certain contractors he favors to peek into the bids submitted by other contractors, enabling them to change their offered prices to lower bids. This is literally rigged bidding.

    Such is what allegedly took place last January 19 in the case of the P134-million road widening project on Gensan Highway, which is clearly a violation of Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Act).

    I say this project should be subjected to rebidding also for the reason that it was unduly awarded to Joven’s Saranggani Rock Mixer, a contractor with negative reports.

    “Saan ka nakakita nang bidding na nasisilip ng ibang kontratista ang bid mo tapos babaguhin nila yung bid nila ng mas mababa? Bakit ganyan ang ipinatutupad na proseso?” one contractor told me.

    My sources also said the Bids and Awards Committee proceeded with the recent bidding without the presence of an auditor from the Commission on Audit (COA).

    There have been occasions when the BAC canceled a scheduled bidding of a project when BAC officials happen to “dislike” the line-up of prospective bidders.

    I’ve tried to get hold of Tamayo and Ibrahim for their comments but to no avail.

    In this connection, we are calling the attention of Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government, to check out these irregularities at the DPWH Region 12 Office.

    Evardone, a former governor of Eastern Samar, has a sharp eye on this type of monkey business, which has no place in Matuwid na Daan.

    I’ve also brought up this report with DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson and we are awaiting results of his action.

    Singson has touted his agency’s billions of pesos “savings” resulting from its “transparent” bidding of projects and I acknowledge that his tight-fisted administration has reduced graft in one of the most corrupted agencies.

    So we await positive outcome in this controversy about the DPWH Region 12 Office.

    * * *

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    1. pakialamero na pinoy on

      The Bids and Awards Committee (chairman and members) of the DPWH should be rounded up and turned over to Duterte for final disposition. Bid rigging is a very serious crime and government officials doing these should be punished. However, in the Philippines, money is a very powerful element that can work in wonderful ways.

      As far as the contractors are concerned, don’t they require to have BOND when they submit their bidding package? like a performance BOND, in case the contractor fails to comply with the designs or specifications of a project, forfeiture of their bond would be a good motivation for them to do the job right

      Finally, I think the responsible agency has the final authority to implement rules and guidelines and also to reward or punish contractors that are not complying with its directives.

    2. There will be no more bidding in case Binay wins the Presidency. It will be worst if Binay becomes the President for he will sell all islands including Palawan to China for a few 30% commission. And that’s the reason why Binay wanted (by any means) to become president. He and his family will hide all their cash assets with Limlingan and Baloloy in Canada. Worst of all: the Philippines will experience the worst coups and civil disobedience for everybody knows that Binay is CORRUPT.

    3. cyril a. gerez on

      i have been in government infrastructure project bidding since 1987, i am a duly registered contractor with PCAB and DPWH, been part of BAC as an observer and likewise been on a seminar by Procurement Watch for observers in the early stages of RA 9184 and finally filled a case against a dpwh regional director and the entire BAC of a district engineering office.

      my advice to the concerned contractor if you really have all the evidence to support your claim, work within the bounds of RA 9184, remember that there is a protest mechanism embedded in it.

      this procurement law may not be perfect, but this works and is a lot more better that the previous procurement law that was a presidential decree during the marcos era.