FRONTPAGE
COA to gov: probe P345M BAC deal


Is it true that the winning bidder of the P346Million central block of the provincial hospital did not or does not have a valid on-going special license from the PCAB?

The Commission on Audit found that the winning bidder which constructed the 4-storey central block building of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital undertook the P346 million deal despite the fact that its special license issued by the Philippine Contractor Accreditation Board (PCAB) has already expired.

State Auditor Iannie O. Bulos has recommended for Governor Roel Degamo to investigate the members of the Bids and Awards Committee and the Technical Working Group for failing to carefully examine the special license submitted by the joint venture R.R. Encabo Constructors Incorporated/Legazpi Premium Development Corporation.

GOV ASKED TO PROBE

Provincial Administrator Richard Enojo said that Governor Degamo has instructed Provincial Treasurer Danilo Mendez, being the BAC Chairman to address the COA finding and find solutions to the snag.

Mendez maintains that since the joint venture renewed its license and the corresponding penalties were imposed by PCAB, thus, the joint venture still has valid license for the entire contract period.

She asserts that Under the Contractor’s License Law (RA 4566) it is an offense to engage in contracting business without a valid license, which is prejudicial to the interest of the province.

COA’s Ms. Bulos added that the objective of the law was to ensure that only qualified and reliable contractors are allowed to undertake construction primarily for the safety of the public.

The PCAB special license of the joint venture was valid only for the period May 22, 2014 to June 30, 2014, yet the BAC declared on July 9, 2014 that the joint venture is “technically, legally and financially capable for the project requirements and recommended to the Governor the awarding of the project.”

It was later learned that the joint venture secured a special permit only on August 4, 2015 to June 30, 2016. COA concludes that from July 1, 2014 to August 3, 2015, the joint venture operated without a valid PCAB special permit, hence, the provincial government was not under legal obligation to pay the joint venture of advance payments amounting to P 51, 989, 760.00 and progress billings amounting to P 211, 598, 219.98.

In calling for an investigation, COA urged the Governor to impose the necessary administrative sanctions on errant members of BAC and TWG pursuant to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acts and Section 70 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9184, if so warranted. (By Dems Rey Demecillo)


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