Andaya hits DBM over ‘contractual’ bid execs
Days after stepping down as House majority leader, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. on Wednesday resumed his assault on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), scoring the alleged “anomalous” hiring of contractual employees to “sensitive” posts in a body tasked with handling the government’s bidding processes.
In a statement, Andaya branded as “illegal” the appointment of 396 personnel to the DBM Procurement Service (DBM-PS), which has been bidding out big-ticket projects coursed through the department.
“How can contractual employees be responsible for bidding [out] these big projects? Instead of tasking permanent [Department of Transportation] employees to do the bidding, they passed on this function to contractual employees. Is there not a clear anomaly here?” he said.
After relinquishing the chairmanship of the committee on rules, Andaya moved the investigation of alleged illegal budget insertions to the appropriations panel, which he now chairs.
Allegations vs Diokno
Andaya heads an inquiry into the P51-billion insertions in the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways for 2019 and has accused Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno of allocating funds for projects meant to benefit contractors controlled by his relatives.
“I intend to schedule a follow-up hearing next week, following admission by resource persons in Monday’s hearing that all the [chairs] and members of the DBM Procurement Service’s bids and awards committees (BACs) are not permanent but contractual and job-order employees,” he said.
Bingle Gutierrez, head of the procurement arm of the DBM, signs all recommendations to award projects despite being a contractual employee whose term expires in June, Andaya said.
“This is illegal, a clear violation of [Republic Act No.] 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act. The DBM-PS conducted bidding for more than P198 billion in big-ticket infrastructure projects and consultancies allocated for other departments last year,” he said.
The law, he said, provides that “the BAC shall have at least five members, to be chaired by at least a third ranking permanent official of the procuring entity.”
“[Gutierrez] admitted during the previous hearing that the entire office of DBM-PS has a total of 396 personnel complement, with 279 contractuals and 117 job order personnel [who], she said, are responsible for bidding multibillion projects allocated by DBM to other departments,” he said.
According to the Camarines Sur lawmaker, the DBM-PS handled the bidding of P198 billion worth of contracts for big-ticket infrastructure projects and consultancy fees in 2018./ac
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