DND exec denies anomaly in P1.76-B force protection equipment's bidding
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2013 - 5:59pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) on Monday denied allegations of anomalies in the bidding for the supply of more than 44,000 sets of force protection equipment worth P1.76-billion.

Defense Assistant Secretary Efren Fernandez maintained that the decision to disqualify the lowest bidder, South Korean firm Kolon Global Corp., is justified since the company failed to meet some requirements.

“DND-BAC (Department of National - Defense Bids and Awards Committee) laments the move of some quarters that to discredit (it) for post-disqualifying Kolon Global Corp.,” Fernandez, who heads the BAC, said in a press conference.

“BAC’s decision is based purely on what is provided for under Republic Act 9184, he added, referring to the procurement law.

Kolon offered to supply 44,080 sets of force protection equipment for P894 million, lower by almost P870,000 than the P1.763 billion approved budget for the project. Kolon’s offer was also cheaper than those offered by three other bidders.

A DND post-qualification team, however, declared that Kolon’s goods did not meet some standards aimed at ensuring the protection of soldiers in the field.

The team said all ballistic inserts of samples submitted by Kolon did not conform to dimensional requirements since they have shorter dimensional measurements.

“The lives of our soldiers will also be put to risk because the protected area of coverage has been reduced by more or less 5 mm each on both the width and length,” the team said in a report to the BAC.

“Any reduction in size will result (in) reduced protection of the user,” it added.

The post-qualification team also pointed out that the samples presented by Kolon are in single curve design. The military, however is seeking to acquire a multi-curve design.

The military prefers a multi-curve design to avoid the possibility of body injury due to secondary impact of plate to the body upon bullet contact and for increased bullet deflection.

BAC’s decision to disqualify Kolon has been questioned by anti-corruption watchdogs who observe the procurement process.

The Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) has asked Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to reconsider the decision, noting that Kolon had tendered the lowest bid for the project.

The coalition consists of the Ateneo School of Government, Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Dennis Manalo, a lawyer for Kolon, also questioned BAC’s decision to disqualify his client and vowed to tap all available legal remedies.

He also claimed that Kolon’s offer would allow the government to save more money.

Fernandez, however, insisted that the price is not the only consideration in accepting offers.

“Although the financial consideration is also important, one must understand that the nature of the product they are buying has for its purpose the protection of the lives and limbs of soldiers engaged in armed conflict and combat,” Fernandez said.

“The DND BAC, while adhering to what is provided for in Republic Act 9184, also stands by the principle that priceless lives of our soldiers must not be compromised,” he added.

ATENEO SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT BAC COALITION AGAINST CORRUPTION CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES DEFENSE ASSISTANT SECRETARY EFREN FERNANDEZ DEFENSE BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE FERNANDEZ KOLON KOLON GLOBAL CORP REPUBLIC ACT
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with