NINETY-EIGHT percent of projects of the Department of National Defense (DND) in the last two years did not undergo public bidding, Senator Teofisto Guingona 3rd said on Tuesday during the resumption of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing.
According to Guingona, he learned about the “very alarming” situation from the Defense department itself based on the documents it submitted to the committee which is currently investigating the controversial P1.2 billion helicopter deal.
Guingona said of the 35,000 contracts awarded by the DND to private contractors in 2013, only 650 went through competitive bidding while the rest were negotiated.
The situation was repeated in 2014 where only 420 of the 32,000 contracts went through public bidding.
“This certainly raises some questions which I hope the DND officials can answer in the coming days,” Guingona said.
The senator said the situation was alarming because of the thousands of contracts offered by the DND, only two percent underwent a competitive bidding process.
DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo confirmed Guingona’s report but he noted that the figures were based on the submission of different units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and different offices of the DND.
He added that bulk of the procurement contracts were undertaken by battalions which only involved small value procurements.
The DND official also explained that the battalions were allowed to undertake small value procurement.
Manalo vowed to submit to the blue ribbon committee the breakdown of contracts, the mode of procurement and the kind of items procured. He maintained that all procurement contracts were justified and above board.