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No need for GPPB opinion, says poll exec

Posted on: April 1, 2009

ON RELAXED BID TERMS
No need for GPPB opinion, says poll exec

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 11:29:00 04/01/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Inquirer Politics

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) need not get an opinion from the Government Procurement and Policy Board (GPPB) to support the relaxed eligibility requirements for bidders joining the P11.2 billion poll automation project, an official said Wednesday.

Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) chairman Ferdinand Rafanan said the Comelec en banc issued Resolution 8593 on Tuesday, clarifying that the amendments to the eligibility terms were legal and made in accordance with provisions of Republic Act 9184 or Government Procurement Reform Act.

“There is no need to seek an opinion from the GPPB on the matter because SBAC made the amendment according to the law [RA 9184]. Moreover, an opinion from the GPPB is not binding,” said Rafanan.

“I will be more assertive sa susunod [next time] given we are also a constitutional commission, the SBAC was just being extra careful last pre-bid conference on Friday,” he added.

Rafanan added the amendment was lifted directly from provisions in Section 22.5.3 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the government procurement law.

Quoting the procurement law, Rafanan said a firm is eligible to join the automation bid provided “it must be in existence for at least three consecutive years prior to publication of the invitation to apply for eligibility and to bid and has completed three projects similar in magnitude and nature with a total amount equal to half of the P11.2 billion, of which the largest contract is 25 percent of the total amount of the Comelec automation project.”

“To qualify, a bidder must have a previous contract worth P5.6 billion in the last three years and this is restricted to IT projects only because it must be similar in nature to the Comelec automation project. Mabigat na requirement ito (This is a heavy requirement) so we try to prevent failure of bidding or monopoly resulting from these and made the amendment,” Rafanan said.

During a pre-bid conference Friday, Aris Batuhan, counsel of Indra Systems, urged the Comelec SBAC to get a formal opinion when the SBAC relaxed the eligibility terms from the original, which required bidders “to have one previous contract similar in magnitude and nature amounting to half of P11.2 billion amount of the Comelec automation project.”

Rafanan said the SBAC is focused on answering bidder questions and requests for clarifications on the request for proposal and terms of reference.

If there are many questions, a pre-bid conference may be held upon request of a bidder or on the initiative of the SBAC.

Rafanan is optimistic the Comelec can get the lowest calculated responsive bid among 10 bidders for the project.

Bidders have until April 20 to seek clarifications on the bid documents.

Bid proposals would be opened April 27 and awarding of the winning bidder would be made May 22, said Rafanan.

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