• Negotiated bid eyed for P3.8-B MRT contract

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    THE government may resort to emergency procurement for the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 for lack of competitive bidders.

    Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya made the admission during the congressional hearing on MRT problems conducted by the House Metro Manila Development panel chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo.

    Abaya said the entire contract is worth P3.8 billion.

    The Department of Transportation and Communications had held two biddings but these failed.

    “We are now preparing for emergency procurement. We are already in talks with the Government Procurement Policy Board to allow us to proceed with such since we already conducted two biddings but no bidders were able to meet the qualifications,” Abaya told lawmakers.

    The contract of APT Global, the existing maintenance provider of the MRT-3 which stretches from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City, expires this month. The MRT-3 ferries an average of 500,000 passengers a day.

    But Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz opposed the holding of a negotiated bidding, saying the emergency bid conducted for MRT-3’s maintenance in October, 2012 resulted in the award of the contract to startup company PH Trams.

    PH Trams stirred controversy because one of its incorporators, Wilson de Vera, was accused as the broker in the alleged attempt of former MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol to extort $30 million from Czech ambassador Joseph Rychtar and Czech train carmaker Inekon.

    “We should be vigilant against this possible negotiated contract because under emergency procurement, the DOTC can just choose any company to its liking for the MRT-3’s emergency,” dela Cruz warned.

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    2 Comments

    1. For a moment I thought I was reading an old news story. In 2012 an emergency procurement was held when the bids failed repeatedly because of unfair Terms of Reference so that Abaya just called the whole thing off and gave the whole contract to PH Trams as pointed out (which is embedded in that other bogus company APT Global). Now are we going to be stupid enough to fall for the same trick twice?

      What is astounding is that Metro Pacific made an offer to rehabilitate the whole MRT at their expense, but Abaya turned it down, insisting on open bidding which he called more transparent. And now we have that two-face pushing for negotiated bidding and emergency procurement?!

    2. Just curious po….Sec 35 of RA 9184 prescribe the following after failed biddings:
      35.2. In order to determine the reason for the failed bidding, the BAC shall conduct a mandatory review and evaluation of the terms, conditions, and specifications in the Bidding Documents, including its cost estimates.(a)
      35.3. Based on its findings, the BAC shall revise the terms, conditions, and specifications, and if necessary, adjust the ABC, subject to the required approvals, and conduct a re-bidding with re-advertisement and/or posting, as provided for in Section 21.2 of this IRR.(a)
      Can DOTC publish, so the public may know, its findings in compliance with the above provisions of RA 9184