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Metro

Cake war erupts in Makati

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A “war” over the cake-giving program of the Makati City government for its senior citizens has erupted.

A councilor yesterday slammed acting Mayor Romulo Peña Jr. for allegedly ordering smaller and cheaper cakes for the city’s elderly compared to those previously given by suspended Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

Councilor Marie Alethea Casal-Uy said that Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc. – the lone bidder to submit a proposal – offered a contract price of P8.6 million, which was lower than the approved budget of P9.3 million.

However, Casal-Uy said Peña’s camp did not disclose the size and quantity of the cakes to be given to the senior citizens on their birthday.

The bidding for the cake-giving program was held on Monday.

“They are obviously trying to mislead the public by focusing on the bid price of Goldilocks at P285 per cake. It is cheaper but they failed to compare the size as contained in the purchase requests,” Casal-Uy said.

She said the cakes are now smaller in size at 9x2 inches compared to the 9x4 inches previously given to the elderly.

She added the cakes that were bid out were only for 31,000 pieces since it is only for the remainder of the year.

Earlier, Peña said he would continue the city government’s program of giving cakes to the elderly on their birthday. But he promised that the giveaways would be “more affordable, tastier and branded.”

The program started in 2003 when Vice President Jejomar Binay was still Makati mayor. Last year, it became controversial after lawyer Renato Bondal alleged in a Senate inquiry that the cakes were overpriced.

According to Casal-Uy, Peña may be charged with graft and violation of the Procurement Act because of alleged collusion with the cake maker.

“Even before the bidding, Peña was quoted in news reports saying that the new cakes would only cost between P265 and P280. It turned out that the bid prices submitted by Goldilocks for the cakes are almost exactly the same as the prices stated by Peña,” she said.

Casal-Uy said that if the contract is awarded to Goldilocks, the prices of the cakes would be: chocolate chiffon (P285), marble chiffon, (P275.50) and mocha chiffon (P266).

The city government earlier cancelled the contract with Bakerite for the cake supply.

Makati Bids and Awards Committee chairman Danilo Villas said the current supplier, Bakerite, was invited to join Monday’s bidding but it did not participate.

Gilbert de los Reyes, chief of the Makati public information office, said the entry of Goldilocks might have caused other interested bidders to back out.

Goldilocks’ bid price of P8.6 million includes the delivery of 31,187 cakes to Makati’s elderly from Aug. 15 to Dec. 31.

ACIRC

ATILDE

CAKES

CASAL-UY

COUNCILOR MARIE ALETHEA CASAL-UY

DANILO VILLAS

GOLDILOCKS BAKESHOP INC

MAKATI

MAKATI BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE

MAKATI CITY

MAYOR JEJOMAR ERWIN

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