January 6, 2012
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today accused Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officer in charge Samuel Perez of resorting to flimsy and questionable grounds in deciding to scrap a long-delayed P243 million contract for fire-fighting gear “that was won fair and square by a first timer who managed to beat the BFP’s regular suppliers at their own game.”
“What the BFP probably wants is for the contract to go to its regular suppliers who, in the past, provided overpriced, substandard goods to the Bureau,” he said.
“In the meantime, our fire-fighters will have to continue doing their job in shorts, slippers and sando as their fire-fighting coats, boots, helmets and trousers have all been worn out,” he lamented
The winning bidder, Kolonwell Trading Co., was disqualified last week by Perez a year and two months after first winning the contract by submitting the lowest calculated bid of P242,806,753.00 for 4,197 sets of fire-fighting coats, helmets, gloves, trousers and boots.
“In the first place, it is the bids and awards committee (BAC) that qualifies or disqualifies bidders and in this case, no less than three BACs and the DILG secretary himself had affirmed in a previous resolution that the winning bidder was qualified,” the lawmaker said.
“Don’t tell me that after one year and two months of going through the eye of a needle and getting the nod of a BAC that was reconstituted no less than three times to ensure objectivity, it is only now that the BFP discovered a fatal flaw in the bid. This is one for the books,” said Casiño.
According to the lawmaker, instead of going through the protest mechanism as provided for in the Procurement Law, losing bidders Panpisco Technologies, Inc. and 911 Alarm simply wrote letters to Perez pointing out alleged defects in Kolonwell’s bid documents which the BAC had already previously cleared.
“This is akin to Atty. Estelito Mendoza pointing out the defects of a Supreme Court decision to the Clerk of Court on which basis the Clerk decides to reverse the decision. There was a clear circumvention of the procedures as laid down in the Procurement Law,” he stressed Casiño.
He added that the grounds cited by Perez – delays in the opening of financial documents, an instance when Kolonwell paid its taxes manually instead of electronically, and the manner by which some documents were translated from Korean – “are overly technical to the point of being flimsy and can never erase the fact that the supplier offered the best value for money for the government, having offered the lowest bid.”#