Equipment suppliers question Capitol bid requirements
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - November 7, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Some bidders for the P254 million heavy equipment deal with the Province of Cebu are confused by the requirements set by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) during the pre-bidding conference held last November 2.

This bidding is the second call for heavy equipment suppliers after the previous bid was declared as failed.

The Capitol BAC requires all interested suppliers for the current bid to strictly comply with the G7 standard required for the equipment needed.

One of the participants present during the pre-bidding conference asked what particular countries are identified producing G7 standard heavy equipment.

Group of Seven (G7) is an international organization officially established in 1985 to facilitate economic cooperation among the world's largest industrial nations which include Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States.

However, Capitol BAC member, Atty. Donato Villa Jr., replied to the query by saying, "China is and will also be considered with G7 standard and acceptable, provided that it was recognized by US government."

This has raised the eyebrows of some suppliers who are now suspecting that the bidding process would still favor China-made equipment suppliers, apparently referring to ConEquip Philippines, who won in the previous bidding  earlier this year, despite posting the most expensive bid of P250 million.

Last July, Governor Hilario Davide III had declared a "failure of bidding" for the purchase of P254 million worth of heavy equipment to dispel all doubts on the integrity of procurement at the Capitol in light of accusations of overpricing.

It was earlier reported that Capitol allegedly rigged the bidding process to favor a contractor, even as the said contractor submitted the highest bid.

For the earlier bidding, the joint venture of RDAK Transport Equipment, Inc. and Nelson Lee Construction submitted the Lowest Calculated and Responsive Bid of P235 million, followed by Civic Merchandising with P237 million.

But ConEquip Philippines was declared the winning bidder with the amount of P250 million despite having been disqualified in the pre-qualification stage.

"If such being the case, what local or foreign agency concerned has the authority to certify or recognize such fact?" said one of the suppliers who asked for anonymity pending submission of their formal manifestation to BAC today.

The supplier also questioned why the specifications provided by the BAC for the new bidding are so detailed, and where BAC also got the specifications on the brand and model of the equipment to be acquired.

"Insisting on such detailed specifications, the BAC may be suspected of favoring only one supplier who may have tailored the said particular specifications," the supplier said.

To avoid such suspicion and to enable the Province of Cebu to save costs, the supplier suggested that the BAC should make the specifications simpler so as to open the bidding to more suppliers.

The supplier also pointed out that making it one lot only is not ideal because chances are, just one dealer may not have all the required equipment.

The second bidding for the supply of construction equipment, including hydraulic excavators, crawler tractors, wheel loaders, motor graders, vibratory rollers, forklifts, self-loaders, dump trucks, water trucks, and boom trucks, will be held on November 14. —/JBB (FREEMAN)

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