CTU officers cleared of admin complaint
(The Freeman) - October 30, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman has dropped the administrative complaint against members of the Bids and Awards Committee of the Cebu Technological University who were accused of setting the prices of bidding documents in several procurements at alleged exorbitant amounts.

In her joint resolution, graft investigator Luanne Ivy Cabatingan dismissed the complaint for grave misconduct against CTU BAC chairman Gregorio Gamboa; vice chair Venerando Cuñado; members Romeo Pableo, Normita Mejala, Panfilo Ciriaco, and Leo Nisnisan; procurement officer Evangeline Tarongoy; and secretary Jennifer Enriquez.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the Field Investigation Office and Demetrio Estellero alleging the respondents compelled bidders to pay exorbitant and non-refundable amounts for the bid documents in a number of procurements for the school.

The cost of bidding documents reportedly cost P40,000 for the P2.2-million procurement of hydraulic bench, another P40,000 for the P2.55 million procurement of pneumatics training equipment, and P20,000 for the P1.7-million budget for the purchase of electro-hydraulic trainer.

The complainants noted that Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act provides that bidders may be asked to pay for the bid documents in order to recover the costs of preparation and development.

Accordingly, the maximum cost of bidding documents shall be P5,000 for every approved budget of more than P1 million up to P5 million for the contract.

“Complainants claimed that respondent’s act of making the bid documents available only to prospective buyers upon payment of a non-refundable amount that exceeds the standard rates defeats the basic policy of competitive bidding, as the exorbitant cost of bid documents discourages supplies from participating the bidding,” the document read.

In their counter-affidavits, the respondents denied the charges and argued that the guidelines on the cost of bidding documents cited by the complainants were approved and only took effect on February 24, 2012 while the procurements being questioned were made on October 22, 2010.

Cabatingan held that the revised implementing rules and regulations of RA 9184 provide no specific standard rate for the sale of the bidding documents but are merely used as guide for the pricing.

Cabatingan also said the complainants failed to present the costs of their preparation and development to show that the prices set for the bidding documents were meant to discourage suppliers from participating the bidding process.

“Considering that complainants could not establish the basic premise that the prices of the bidding documents in question were exorbitant to the point of being prohibitive, the complaint must fail,” her resolution concluded. — Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento/ATO (FREEMAN)

BIDDING BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE OF THE CEBU TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY CABATINGAN DOCUMENTS EVANGELINE TARONGOY FIELD INVESTIGATION OFFICE AND DEMETRIO ESTELLERO GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT REFORM ACT GRACE MELANIE I GREGORIO GAMBOA JENNIFER ENRIQUEZ LEO NISNISAN
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