BAC hit for favoring outsider to undertake bridge project PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 June 2012 14:05

“Why award a project to an out-of-town contractor when in fact it did not even come up with the lowest bid?

This question was posed by Engr. Benjamin S. Dimaano, chairman of Bendimil Construction and Development Corporation as he branded as “baseless” and “unjust” the city’s Bids and Awards Committee or BAC which nullified his firms’ two won bids on multi-million peso worth of infrastructure projects for alleged failure to pass a post qualification requirement.

“This is too much for us to bear since such decision has no basis and appears to have done without proper verification,” decried Dimaano as he pointed out that the first post disqualification notice he received was on the P1 27.2 million bridge that connects Log Pond to Limaong Island that was supposed to be worked on by his firm on a joint venture with Haidee Construction and Development Corporation that was issued on April 2, 2012. Grace Construction, an out-of-town contractor, submitted a bid of more than P132 million. The project was bidded January 2, 2012. Out of town contractors only pay 30% of city tax while local contractors pay 100% tax.

On May 9, 2012,  the BAC chaired by Dr. Mario D. Arriola with lawyers Samuel A. Mariano and Alexander F. Elias and Engrs. Luis Vicente L. Despalo and Rene M. Dela Cruz as members issued another post disqualification notice, this time on the P19.1 million improvement of farm-to-market road at Upper Latap, Limpapa. It took more than 60 days for the BAC to take action on the bid when the law requires only seven days or a maximum of 30 days to determine the winning bidder.

The BAC claimed that Bendimil, the lowest bidder, “failed to include an on-going project-CCC Villa Hermosa Housing Project in its list of all on-going government and private construction contract as required under Section 23.1 ...a) iii) of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9184.
However the top contractor maintains that the housing project cannot be considered as “on-going”, since work at the site has stopped in 2004 and since then the city government has awarded several projects to his firm.

These are the development of 1) the former CDCP area in Zone IV in 2006, 2) development of Parks and Gardens to include CDCP area in 2008, 3) Construction of Sangguniang Panlungsod Annex Building (Revised) 2008; 4) construction of three storey 21- classroom building in Talon-Talon 2009 and 5) rehabilitation improvement of    guard railing along Sucabon creek. Zone II in 2010. “ So why a sudden change of policy?” he asked.

In his letter to the BAC chairman dated May 11, 2012 and with the assistance of lawyer Rose Lorena-Broce, retained counsel, Dimaano pointed out that the original joint venture forged in 1988 was only between the city government and the National Housing Authority or NHA.

However the two entities in 1991 entered into a joint venture agreement or JVA with Bendimil for the construction of housing units with NHA sharing an initial equity ofPhp4.05 million. In 1995, a total of 307 housing units were made ready for occupancy but an amendment to the contract was made due to the project’s bankroller - National House Mortgage Finance Corporation which reportedly went out of business.

Likewise in 2006. The price per lot rose to P 140,000 from P120,000 because of increase in cost of materials prompting prospective buyers, mostly city government employees, to withdraw their application, so the project did not materialize.

In 2008 the National Housing Authority issued a certification attesting that the project has permanently stopped and by that alone “clearly means it is not on-going”, Dimaano asserts.

“How can BAC claim that it (project) is on-going?” Dimaano asked as he challenged those in authority to inspect the project site and even the public as well to determine for themselves its real status.

Dimaano only gave a wry smile when asked whether a favored contractor, if ever, is reason for the twin post disqualification notices issued which deprived “unjustly” not only his firm but a good number of workers who missed fair opportunity to earn their just pay, he lamented.

A request for reconsideration on the disqualification notices and the issuance of notice of award on the two projects was turned down on the same ground by the BAC, the contractor said.

For this reason Dimaano is seeking a formal investigation to be done by a competent body to determine once and for all the merits of the case particularly whether the Housing Project in Luyahan is “on-going” or not so this can be resolved by respected individuals devoid of any outside influence, for the sake of justice and fair play. — LE