Freeman Cebu Business

Are wer there yet?

Backset Driver - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - I have yet to decipher the difference between projects awarded by every other department of the government versus those by the transport sector.  Everywhere you go and everyone ask would tell you that getting a government contract is allegedly the juiciest deal you can ever get.  We’ve all heard stories about how many companies would allegedly do anything and everything in their capacity to land a government project.  From rumours of rigged biddings that would ensure that their “kumpare” would receive their well-deserved cut, to substandard equipment and work-quality that would ensure a future “repair and restoration” project, government projects are said to be the best way to be guaranteed good business.  But how come that is not happening in the transport sector?

Some may argue that all these bad road projects are part of the transport sector, and are generating much income for the companies that have been repeatedly awarded the project despite their piss-poor workmanship.  True, but that is not the transport sector I am referring to.  Rather, I am talking about the sector that releases the permits, licenses, and tasked to uphold the road rules.

First off, think about how many seedy entrepreneurs flew to China to purchase stocks upon stocks of substandard, imitation of the real thing helmets which they thought they could sell like hot cakes once the helmet law is strictly enforced.  I am so sure they were dreaming of swimming in pools and pools of money by the time they sell their overpriced, not-at-all protective helmet.  Sadly, their swimming pool had a big, leaky drain plug in the form of all these inept traffic law enforcers who could not strictly implement the law.  All their dreams and all their money went down the drain.  Most of these opportunistic businessmen ended up selling their helmets, whose protection you could compare to a goat-skin condom, dirt-cheap to moped and scooter resellers who were looking to amp up their sales by bundling these prophylactics with the junk that they sell.

Second, there are these tech firms that enter deals with all the licensing offices to provide them with state-of-the-art equipment.  When these tech firms were awarded the contracts, I’m sure they were keen about providing each office with the standard equipment required for each licensing center.  Now, imagine their dismay when they found out that, especially in this province, only one licensing center would have the ‘every licensing office’ mandated scanner used for scanning expired licenses for people who are abroad.  Aside from that, the webcams they use to capture our image and likeness have been around way before high-definition image capture devices were heard of.  They haven’t upgraded any of their equipment since.

Lastly, there’s the license plate deal.  It’s almost a year since the licensing office bragged about the theft-proof license plates that were to be released in July 2013.  Well, in a few weeks, it’s going to be July 2014.  I pity the company or companies who bought the equipment needed to put together this new gimmick by the licensing office.

Whatever it is that makes striking a deal with this sector of the government a bad idea is also what makes it unique.  This is the only sector where doing business with them is considered a bad idea.  I mean, companies go into government contracts to strike it rich.  I’ve heard rumours that some people were allegedly able to buy new cars after selling useless electronic tablets to the government.  But dealing with the licensing sector seems to put people further in debt.  Piece of advice, stay away from this government sector if you’d like to do good business. (FREEMAN)


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