Table Talk: Zambo’s Integrated Bus Terminal: What happened? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 November 2011 13:51

After many years of court battle between the city government and the winning bidder, local contractor RCDG of Engr. Cading Ruste, the Bids and Awards Committee of the city headed by a good friend Dr. Mario Ariola decided to have it re-bidded and had it published in national papers including the internet, but, alas!, the Regional Trial Court in Zamboanga City ruled against the rebidding and instead opted for a status quo since the two opposing parties (city government and RCDG) have agreed to talk it over before pushing for another court case.
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This IBT controversy could not have been a problem if the awarding of the contract to the winning bidder was handled carefully by the city. In the first place, before the actual bidding there was a pre-bidding conference, and every problem, kinks, pre-qualification should have been resolved at that stage. If there are no other reasons or for how many reasons, why award it to a non winning bidder?  A Manila-based construction firm at that? Why is the city favoring an outsider construction firm instead of our very own? If they say that RCDG is not qualified because it lacks the rank requirement to construct 300 million pesos and above projects, they should have questioned his construction firm when it was concreting the national highways in the city, especially at the West Coast which runs into hundreds of million pesos also.
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We are not lawyers but when there is precedence it is “stare decisus”.  All over the country similar cases may have been decided by courts and this should have been used as guidance, because a repetition of a decided case may cause somebody unequal justice.
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While the IBT case is still pending, Zamboanga City suffers the consequences. A very rich city with billions of pesos reserved in banks, highly urbanized, dubbed as the “only Latin City” in Asia, center of commerce and communication in the region, cosmopolitan city where remnants of the West and East can still be found in the city, where Muslims and Christians live side by side, where vehicles run into the thousands, name it Zamboanga City have it, yet it has no Integrated Bus Terminal for the safety and convenience of travelling passengers. All we have is a private terminal that is muddy during the rainy season and dusty on sunny days, with unhygienic comfort rooms, open carenderias and where overcharging tricycles ply their illegal trade everytime a passenger bus arrives from the province and worst the area is dim at night posing danger to limb and life.
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Scoop: May we also inquire why it is taking the DPWH a long time in completing the highway now still on construction for almost a year at Campo Islam going to the junction of Baliwasan Chico? Is it also being constructed by a favored construction firm by the city? Just asking because it is already causing a lot of inconvenience.