Capitol BAC insists: Bidding “impartial”
(The Freeman) - December 18, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Amid issues hurled against its conduct of the bidding process, the Cebu Capitol’s Bids and Awards Committee saw no reason to hold off the purchase of the P250 million worth of light and heavy equipment that is alleged to be overpriced.

The body stood pat on its decision declaring ConEquip Philippines, Inc. as the bidder with the “lowest calculated and responsive bids” for the supply of the equipment.

ConEquip bested RDAK Transport Equipment, Inc. which offered a P235-million bid, and Civic Merchandising, Inc. with its P237-million bid. BAC post-disqualified RDAK and Civic as they allegedly did not meet the specification requirements.

“Evaluation was conducted not just on the amounts of the bid per se, but the amounts vis-à-vis certain specifications.  One can be the lowest bidder but not responsive to all the requirements and conditions specified in the bid documents.  To be awarded the contract, the bidder must be the lowest calculated responsive bid,” read the BAC press statement.

In a press conference yesterday, BAC Chairman Mark Tolentino belied news reports that the equipment to be supplied by the winning bidder to the Capitol may have been overpriced, specially the 4x2 dump truck model ZZ3167M3811 from China which had a bid price of P5 million per one unit.

It was reported that the same truck model was offered by another company, Mighty Brothers Heavy Equipment, at P2.6 million only, or almost 100 percent lower than what ConEquip will supply to the Capitol.

But Tolentino said the bidders actually offered almost the same bid range for each unit of the dump truck, with Civic offering P5.13 million, P5 million by RDAK, and P5.12 by ConEquip.

Besides, he said, the price of the equipment from Mighty Brothers could not be considered because the company did not participate in the bidding process.

“We compare apples to apples. These are the bids of the three different bidders (RDAK, ConEquip, Civic) before us, and factually it would show that they are not really that far off with each other,” he told reporters.

He added that the respective total bids of the three companies were lower than the approved budget for the contract at P252.68 million, thus, “there was really no overpricing.”

For his part, provincial engineer Hector Jamora, a member of the BAC, said the province arrived at the P252 million benchmark rate based on a pre-canvass conducted by his office with reputable and known suppliers.

He said Mighty Brothers was not considered during the pre-canvass survey.

“But even if wa maapil sa pre-canvass, any supplier can participate in the bidding,” he clarified.

Jone Seigfred Sepe, Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) officer-in-charge and a BAC member, said they were able to comply with the publication requirements for the bidding by posting it on an Internet infrastructure Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), the official website of the Cebu Provincial Government, and newspapers.

Sepe said all the bidders agreed during the pre-bidding that G-7 standards would be set for heavy equipment.

The Group of 7 is an international organization officially established in 1985 to facilitate economic cooperation among the world’s largest industrial nations.  Its members are Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States. It does not include China where ConEquip’s 4x2 dump trucks are made in.

The BAC informed prospective bidders that China products could be accepted if they are qualified for the G-7 or G-20 Standards, which ConEquip equipment are, Sepe said.

“Bisan og (made in) China basta dawaton sa G7 countries as import ang products, accepted pod sa ato. (Under the procurement law), it is not allowed nga mo-prefer ta og brand ug mo-prefer og country of origin,” he said.

“The BAC now reiterates that the bidding process was conducted impartially and transparently. The BAC has already done its part and is now awaiting authorization from the Provincial Board for Governor Hilario P. Davide III to enter into a contract with the winning bidder,” the BAC statement added.

The BAC documents are still pending before the PB Ad-Hoc Committee for review before Davide gets the authority to enter into and sign the contract. – Michael Vencynth H. Braga/RHM (FREEMAN)

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