Delinquent bidder corners DND contract

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There must be something special about the Philippine-based agent of a Turkish company, which has won contracts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND).

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Last week, Roferma/MKE was declared by the DND Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) as the “lowest calculated bidder” for the supply contract for bullets and cartridges despite having contracts with the AFP that are in danger of termination because of delays in delivery.

Headed by ret. police Col. Romulo Maningding who belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1978, the company participated in two biddings for contracts to supply 7.62 bullet components and cartridges worth P200 million.

The DND Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) declared the company as the “lowest calculated bidder” for offering a bid price of P122,880,000.

Roferma/MKE contended with two other contractors—a Brazilian contractor and a Korean supplier—despite receiving failing marks from the DND-BAC Technical Working Group (TWG) for falling short of a non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion provided under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Law during the bid opening on March 6.

The DND-BAC even allowed Roferma/MKE to submit a motion for reconsideration (MR) to be able to qualify for the bidding after receiving a “failed” mark by the DND-BAC-TWG.

When documents submitted are found not to conform to the non-discretionary pass/fail criterion, the bidder is supposedly automatically disqualified.

The Manila Times, which served as an observer during the bidding procedure, learned that Roferma/MKE has four pending contracts already awarded to it by the AFP that suffered delays in delivery for over six months.

The said contracts are for the supply of ammunition worth P8 million to P49 million. The AFP already sent a notice of termination to the company for one of the contracts because of a six-month delay in the delivery of the subject ammunition. The company’s two other undertakings to supply ammunition to the AFP are also delayed for more than four months.

The P8-million contract, for example, which was awarded to Reforma/MKE on December 2012, with a 180-day delivery provision, has yet to be executed. The firm requested in June last year for an extension to September and is now about to be given a termination notice for the more than six-month delay in delivery.

Another contract worth over P49 million awarded in May 2013 that is supposed to be delivered in November 2013 is now over four months delayed while another contract worth over P47 million also awarded during the same period is also already four months delayed.

The fourth contract, which involved a P49.5-million supply contract, which was awarded in August 2013, has yet to be delivered this month. Reforma/MKE, however, again requested for an extension of delivery next month.

As a rule, when the late delivery penalty exceeds more than 10 percent of the contract value, a contractor has to be blacklisted. Pending its blacklisting, a company should not be allowed to bid.

Further research revealed that MKE, a Turkish company, is represented by Roferma Enterprise, the same company which filed graft charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome and members of the PNP-BAC after losing in the bidding process for the supply contract for Glock 17 Generation 4 pistols worth around P1.2 billion.

On the other hand, Assistant Secretary Efren Fernandez, DND-BAC chairperson and a retired general from the PNP service who belongs to PMA Class of 1971, explained that although Roferma/MKE was declared as the “lowest calculated bidder” in the last bidding, it is not yet the sure winner and it may suffer disqualification during the post-qualification stage, when the TWG will again review the firm’s non-conforming technical documents.

“Our technical people [TWG] during the first stage of the bid opening have noticed discrepancies over the company’s technical documents that’s why he was given a failing remark. The Government Arsenal is the end user. Kung sinabing kailangan ng end user ng [If the end-user said it needs] orange for example, and here is a bidder participating telling us he has oranges and it turned out when the technical people found that he is only offering Ponkan, failed talaga ang recommendation [the recommendation will indeed be to declare the bidder as failed],” Fernandez explained.

Fernandez also denied having known Maninding.

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