by Rimaliza A. Opiña
The terms of reference for security services at the Burnham Park has not been confirmed by the city council, pending its revision by City Environment and Parks Management Office.
In the meantime, the contract of Interlink Security Services, current security provider of city government buildings and parks, has been extended on a per month basis.
But councilors pointed out the city government is already violating the Government Procurement and Reform Act when the General Services Office extended Interlink’s contract, which is contrary to what the law prescribes that procurement of supplies and services should be through competitive bidding.
In last Monday’s session of the city council, GS Officer Romeo Concio said Interlink’s contract, which recently ended had to be extended because there was a failure in bidding.
Interlink Chief Executive Officer Julius Marrero said the company, which has been providing security services for the city government for many years now, decided not to participate in the bidding because of prohibitive requirements recently drawn out by the Burnham Park Management Authority (BPMA), which is under the Cepmo.
In the revised terms of reference, the Cepmo is requiring for the security provider to provide a speed boat with an eight horsepower capacity and made of fiber glass; provide high definition closed circuit cameras; and canine dogs.
Cepmo head Cordelia Lacsamana said the speed boat will be used to rescue park goers who might drown at the Burnham Lake.
Vice Mayor Edison Bilog said, this requirement of the Cepmo is impractical and could even endanger the public because the lake might be too short to accommodate the boat when it operates at a certain speed. He said a rubber boat, instead of the motorized boat, would suffice.
Councilor Peter Fianza saw more loopholes in the TOR. He said the provision that says guards should have special training on securing dignitaries, might be a cause of concern on the people specifically assigned to keep watch over dignitaries.
“Should we entrust the security of dignitaries on security guards? Will the police or the security personnel of the dignitaries even allow this?” Fianza said.
He added providing lifebuoys should be a responsibility of boat concessionaires, not the security agency.
Marrero said these issues, along with the costs of caring for canine dogs, have been told the BPMA but they proceeded in drafting the TOR.
Lacsamana assured the TOR will be revised to include inputs from the city council.
The GSO, meanwhile, said it could not come up with a team that will prepare a centralized TOR because of the different requirements of every end user.