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Lease agreement extension between PCSO, supplier questioned

/ 10:27 PM August 18, 2015

An anti-corruption group on Tuesday questioned the government’s decision to extend the equipment lease agreement (ELA) between the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and its supplier for online lottery operations equipment without bidding.

In a letter to PCSO Chairman Erineo S. Maliksi, the Anti Trapo Movement (ATM) through its chairman Leon Estrella said there are other companies that can provide the same equipment and technology at a lower rate.

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“(G)iven the fast advances of the technology, other companies of similar nature could provide the same technology at a lower rate or even a more advanced and modern technology at the same price,” Estrella said.

“By merely extending the ELA with Berjaya Philippines, Inc.-Philippine Gaming and Management Corporation (PGMC), PCSO hereby limits the opportunities for the government to be able to procure the best available solutions at the most advantageous price to promote economy and efficiency.”

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The group said PCSO violated Section 3 (b) of Article I General Provisions of RA 9184 or the Procurement Reform Act which states that the procurement process be governed by these principle: “Competitiveness by extending equal opportunity to enable private contracting parties who are eligible and qualified to participate in public bidding.”

“Knowing that the ELA is due to expire, the said contract should have been offered for public bidding and the terms of reference published for interested bidders.” the group said citing present procurement laws.

The group continues the advocacy first taken up by the Kilosbayan and former senator Jovito Salonga .

In 1995, the PCSO entered into an ELA with Berjaya for the online lottery operations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. PCSO continuously extended the ELA of Berjaya and PGMC.

On July, 2011, this practice has already been a subject of a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, which questioned why PCSO did not conduct another public bidding after expiration of the eight-year lease with Berjaya and PGMC. Tetch Torres-Tupas, INQUIRER.net/TVJ

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TAGS: Anti-Trapo Movement, Erineo Maliksi, Online Lottery Operations, PCSO
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