December 8, 2023

A possible case of anomaly concerning the P27-million improvement of the Amburayan-Boneng provincial road in Kapangan, Benguet is being raised by one of the contractors who bid for the project.

At least three companies bid for the phase two of the road rehabilitation project in March but the provincial Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) has declared a failure of bidding after it evaluated the two bids and ignored to evaluate the third bidder.

In requesting for a declaration of failure of bidding through Resolution 09-07-2020a, the BAC has described as non-responsive the bids of the two companies with the first and second lowest calculation bids.

With this, Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas, in a letter to Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año dated Sept. 8, 2020, sought for a six-month extension in the implementation of the road project, saying all three bidders were found by BAC to be non-responsive.

An extension is being sought after the DILG has directed that a notice to proceed for the road improvement project be released on or before Sept. 11, 2020.

Third bidder EAJR De Leon Construction represented by manager Edward De Leon, Jr. wrote Diclas on Sept. 22 informing the latter of a possible anomalous bidding process involving the Amburayan-Boneng provincial road.

De Leon said the BAC, aside from its illegal issuance of a resolution asking the governor to declare a failure of bidding, has violated Rule 10 of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR)  of Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, for not including the bid of his company in the post-qualification process after evaluating the bid of the first two bidders with lowest calculated bids.

He said the BAC cannot use as reason in requesting for the declaration of failure of bidding the lapse of 45 days due to its conduct of post-qualification of the second bidder after it found that the first bidder was non-responsive.

De Leon further said Sec. 34.8 of the IRR of RA 9184 gives BAC a fresh 12 to 45 days to conduct a post-qualification evaluation on his company’s bid reason that it could not claim that the period for post-qualification has lapsed.

De Leon also informed the governor of his formal letter dated Aug. 27, 2020 addressed to the provincial engineer through the BAC chair of infrastructure on the status of the two road projects where his company is one of the bidders. He furnished the Commission on Audit-Benguet office a copy of his letter.

De Leon received a letter from the BAC chair of infrastructure dated Sept. 9, 2020 informing the former that he can follow up at the BAC office for complete details.

“This response smacks of fraud and a red flag to corruption in the sense that instead of answering what happened to my bid, he (BAC chair for infrastructure) skirted the issue by intentionally refusing to put in writing his response regarding my bid and instead asked me to make a personal follow-up,” reads the letter of De Leon to Diclas. 

The Office of the Governor has yet to respond to the letter of De Leon. – Harley F. Palangchao