DILG to probe BFP fire truck bidding
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will investigate the allegedly “restrictive” bidding process of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for its fire trucks, an official said Thursday.
This developed after the Makabayan Bloc filed a bill calling for an investigation of the BFP’s procurement process, noting that its “restrictive procurement process practically gives undue advantage since 2018 to only two joint venture entities.”
READ: ‘Restrictive’ bidding for fire trucks bared
“Gagawain po namin ngayon, co-conduct kami ng sarili naming investigation para malaman naming kung anong mga nangyari nung nakaraan, and sa ngayon po naman, mayroon pong mga complaints o charges na nai-file sa Ombudsman,” said DILG Undersecretary for Public Safety Serafin Barretto Jr. in an interview on ANC.
(What we will do now, we will conduct our own investigation to know what happened in the past, and right now, there are complaints or charges filed before the Ombudsman.)
According to Barretto, complaints were filed against the BFP and its Bids and Awards Committee members but he did not elaborate which officials are facing charges and what kinds of complaints were filed. He also said that he does not know who filed the complaints yet.
Because the BFP is under the jurisdiction of the DILG, however, Barretto said they have been communicating with the bureau about the matter.
“Sinasabi nila na ligal ang kanilang mga process dahil independent procuring entity naman talaga sila,” said Barretto.
(They said that their processes are legal because they are an independent procuring entity).
The Makabayan bloc’s resolution also pointed out that bidders were limited to those involved in first truck assembly and manufacturing for at least 15 years, therefore only allowing two companies to qualify for bidding. According to lawmakers, this created a duopoly that defeated the purpose of competitiveness in the bidding process.
“The bidding process is subject to collusion by the procuring entities and some parties, genuine free and open competition as mandated by the law is impossible,” the resolution reads.
When asked about this, Barretto said that the provision was already scrapped this year under the new administration.
“Sa ngayon po, natigil na po ‘yan. Sa new term of reference, wala pong ganong requirements na 15 years,” said Barretto.
(For now, that was stopped. In the new term of reference, there is no such requirement of 15 years).
The DILG also welcomed the proposed investigation of the House of Representatives.
“Welcome naman ‘yan para sa amin. Mas maganda nga ‘yon eh, para mas malinaw sa taumbayan na ayan, may ginagawa ang pamahalaan para labanan kung may anomalya,” said Barretto.
(That is welcome for us. That is better so that it is clearer to the people that we are doing something to fight anomalies).
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