Questions have been raised over the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) plan to acquire new planes for its search and rescue operations as the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Government Procurement Policy Board was urged to investigate possible irregularities or mishandling by the DND Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
The call was made amidst the recent failed bidding and subsequent re-bidding of the P5.3 billion Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft Acquisition Project, which involved the acquisition of three brand new aircrafts for territorial defense, internal peace and security plan, internal security operations, disaster response and national development.
Documents obtained by The Manila Times showed one of the bidders asking the DND “to suspend the bidding procedure until an investigation on the issue has been done to verify whether or not the DND-SBAC1 followed the right procedure for the issuance of the new bid and the relevant pre-bidding conference.”
Although three firms – Alenia Aermacchi, EADS Casa Air Bus Military and PT Dikrgantara Indonesia/Indonesian Aerospace (IAe/Persero) – already attended the pre-bid conference in October, the DND-BAC declared the November 11 bidding a failure as it did not publish the supplemental bid bulletin 7 days prior to the bid opening.
Roberto Pierdominici, regional sales director for Alenia, filed a complaint against the DND and Government Procurement Policy Board for “mishandling the bidding procedure by the DND-SBAC1 which unfairly imperils them and other legitimate bidders.”
It added that potentially interested bidders have been denied the right to submit a comprehensive proposal due to the lack of information on the December 2 pre-bid conference and the supplemental bid bulletin for a December 16 bidding, which has not been posted on the Philippine Government Procurement System (PhilGeps) nor in the official website of the DND, as required by applicable bidding rules and procedures.