The Department of Public Works and Highways has assailed as “baseless and incorrect” the alleged anomalies in the award of the contract for the five-year rehabilitation and maintenance of the 123.5-kilometer Surigao-Davao-Surigao (Lipata)-Agusan del Norte road.
In a memorandum for DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson dated last Oct. 5, Assistant Secretary Gilberto S. Reyes stressed that the bid documents evaluation conducted by the DPWH’s Bids and Awards Committee “strictly followed the guidelines” set by the Japan International Cooperation Agency for Official Development Assistance loan-funded projects.
Reyes pointed out that the result of the bid evaluation was concurred in by JICA in its April 16, 2015 letter. He stressed that JICA, in another letter dated Sept. 21, 2015, also concurred with the contract agreement entered into by DPWH with the winning bidder, the joint venture of Equi-Parco Construction Co. and Hebei Road and Bridge Group Co. Ltd.
The chairman of the DPWH’s BAC, Reyes debunked the allegation that the approved budget for the contract was P2.5 billion, saying that the corrected ABC was actually P3,422,688,199.31 from the original ABC of P3,544,375,276.55.
“The [P3,321,561,551.57] bid of Equi-Parco/Hebei is 2.95 percent below the [corrected] ABC, not 20 percent higher than the ABC as alleged,” Reyes said.
“The deficiencies of the PQ [pre-qualifying] documents of the pre-disqualified bidders are not minor but are substantial and clear grounds for disqualification based on JICA guidelines,” he said, referring to disqualified bidders China Wuyi Co. Ltd. and Wijaya Karya (Persero) Tbk.
“Based on the result of the evaluation, which was deliberated by the previous BAC, only Equi-Parco/Hebei was found to be complying,” he pointed out.
Wuyi and Wijaya were found to have discrepancies or lacking documents, aside from having no adequate experience in the construction of a similar road project at least 35 kilometers in length.
The disqualified bidders also lacked adequate experience in two projects similar to the proposed road with a value of at least P1.2 million on each, added Reyes.
Moves to derail the project through the dissemination of false information have been traced to Butuan City Councilor Sergio Pascual.
A contractor himself, Pascual has been barred by the DPWH from participating in any of its projects.
A number of Mindanaoans who would benefit from the road project lamented that someone like Pascual who apparently has an ax to grind against DPWH should not be allowed to derail a much-needed government infrastructure project already funded by JICA.