Cebu News

Tolentino: Bidding above board

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

Capitol Resource center project

CEBU, Philippines — Lawyer Mark Tolentino, Cebu provincial administrator and the Bids and Awards Committee chairman, insisted that the bidding process for the 20-storey Capitol resource center, which was earlier questioned by whistle blower Crisologo Saavedra, is all done “above board.”

He has spoken for the committee and the Technical Working Group that is facing charges before the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged anomalous bidding of the resource center.

Tolentino was firm that the entire procedure of the bidding was “above board,” meaning it was carried out honestly and openly.

He said BAC and the Technical Working Group were very “deliberate” in proceeding with the project amid public scrutiny.

The members of the BAC and TWG were among the respondents of the complaint filed by Saavedra on January 28 before the anti-graft office aside from Tolentino and Governor Hilario Davide III.

Saavedra alleged that Davide, BAC and the TWG favored the contractor WT Construction and awarded the P1.3 billion project to the firm even if it failed to submit certain bidding requirements.

Tolentino argued that the committee and all members reviewed thoroughly the bid documents. He believed Saavedra might have misinterpreted the information he received.

“They (TWG members) did their job and they take pride of their work. They know their work and they have handled their work well. It is impossible for them to miss anything because they reviewed it again,” Tolentino defended his colleagues.

Saavedra also alleged that the firm is “disqualified” because it fails on the required 50 percent track record of similar project completed within the period of 10 years.

But Tolentino was sure that the WT Construction was qualified for the bidding based from their calculations. Otherwise, the committee would have scrapped the firm from the list of prospective bidders.

As far as he is concerned, the WT Construction has a “good standing” and is not blacklisted.

Tolentino is confident that the committee can address the complaint filed against them if given an opportunity to explain.

If there is one thing advantageous for the building of the resource center, he said it can house other offices from its growing workforce.

The high-rise building is intended to be a mixed-use edifice, which will accommodate Capitol offices and commercial spaces for rent. It is also designed with a four-storey parking space. (FREEMAN)

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