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Davide on PB move: Advanced authority an ‘innovation’

CEBU, Philippines — Giving advanced authority for a governor to enter into a contract even before a winning bidder is announced, just like Cebu Provincial Board did, may be “a first in the Philippines.”

And Governor Hilario Davide III is proud of it.

At least, he said, the legislative body showed innovation while still acting within the bounds of the law.

“Here sa Kapitolyo, we innovate without violating the law,” Davide remarked.

On Monday, Provincial Board Member Edsel Galeos said his colleagues’ decision to give advanced authority for Davide was “only in the Philippines,” a phrase often used to mean something that is uniquely Filipino.

In a vote of 11-3, the PB authorized Davide to enter into contracts for 16 proposed projects with an aggregate value of about P200 million.

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The board members who voted against the measure were Raul Bacaltos, Alex Binghay, and Galeos. Sun Shimura abstained from voting while Victoria Toribio was absent.

Davide said he found nothing wrong about the authority given to him. “If the law, for instance, is silent on a particular matter, then we can explore the ideas and policies para ma-fast-track atong procurement,” he said.

The long and winding process involved in the procurement phase, according to the governor, is one of the common reasons why it takes a long time for a local government unit to implement projects. In turn, the public is not able to promptly benefit from such projects.

Acting on the recommendation of the Bids and Awards Committee, Board Member Jerome Librando sponsored a resolution in April seeking to grant advanced authority for the governor to enter into a contract before the bidding of projects as a way of hastening the process.

“Mao ang recommendation sa BAC, kay taas ang process. Dugay kaayo mahuman ang atong procurement process,” Davide said.

Rene Burdeos, director of the Department of Interior and Local Government in Central Visayas, said in a letter that if the appropriation ordinance already has sufficient detail of the project, no further authorization is required.

“Lump-sum (projects), kinahanglan man na moagi sa provincial board. Pero kung itemized na sa budget mismo, like road from this barrio to this barrio, di na kinahanglan,” the governor said.

Davide emphasized though that PB still wields power to review contracts even if he has been given prior authority. (FREEMAN)

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