Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson has touted his agency’s billions of pesos “savings” resulting from its “transparent” bidding of projects.
I do acknowledge that Singson has reduced graft in one of the most corrupted agencies through his tight-fisted administration.
But, in terms of bidding, the DPWH chief ought to take a closer look into the awarding of contracts in Region 12, specifically Gen. Santos City projects.
Based on complaints sent to me, the biddings at the DPWH Regional Office 12 in Koronadal City, under Director Reynaldo S. Tamayo, have been “highly questionable.”
For one, a proposed P136-million road widening and rehabilitation project to improve the Gen. Santos Highway and Circumferential Road allegedly underwent improper bidding last Tuesday, January 19.
Well-placed sources said some competing contractors were able to see their rivals’ bids and lowered theirs, an outright cheating or rigged bidding.
Don’t tell me that’s done for “transparency.”
“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.
Insiders also informed me that the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) proceeded with the bidding without the presence of an auditor from the Commission on Audit (COA).
There have been occasions when the BAC cancelled a scheduled bidding for a project when BAC officials happen to “dislike” the line-up of prospective bidders.
No wonder that the COA has been keeping an eye on “DPWH hotspots,” particularly regional offices like Tamayo’s where irregularities have been rampant.
My staff is trying to get hold of Tamayo and Assistant Director/BAC chairman Alan Borromeo for their comments.
And, we are verifying other reports on possible violations of provisions of Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Act).
I hope Secretary Singson will do that, too!
Menorca, inc one godly family
I am personally saddened by the unceasing troubles that beset the church family of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).
Although I’m not an INC member, as I am a devout Roman Catholic, I’ve had high regard for the INC’s revered leaders, specifically the late Executive Minister Eraño “Ka Erdie” Manalo and his successor, Bro. Eduardo V. Manalo.
That’s also why I’ve had reservations against passing harsh judgment on the controversial case of erstwhile INC pastor Lowell Menorca.
In fairness, one couldn’t just jump to conclusion that the INC leadership itself was directly and maliciously involved in Menorca’s dramatic arrest by Manila Police District plainclothesmen.
But the embattled excommunicado was the subject of a libel case vaguely based on a blog called “Silent No More,” which is critical of the powerful and wealthy INC.
It’s not like he’s accused of a heinous crime. He was, in fact, the one who’s pressing serious charges against some of his INC brothers.
At first, I was concerned about the apparent overkill in the manner with which the arrest was carried out by Manila policemen, who looked more like goons and sent by a community precinct commander that turn out to be an INC member.
In the first place, it is clearly said in the warrant of arrest issued by a Lanao del Norte Regional Trial Court in Marawi City, of all places it was to be served by the Quezon City Police District.
And all the while the authorities are making sure that members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are not employed as “armed goons” by politicians and warlords this election year, something like this occurs.
What with the incompetence, inefficiency and ineptness of the Aquino administration, it is not far-fetched to think that INC is even more powerful and influential than the government.