View Full Version : Corruption? or Mismanagement...

08-13-2007, 03:57 PM
Aug. 13, 2007
The Manila Standard Today

By Christine F. Herrera

The government may have lost P1.57 billion in potential income because of an allegedly fraudulent bidding of the 2,632-square meter Campus Gateway property at Global City in Taguig.

Britesparks International School Inc. made the claim as it asked the House of Representatives to find out why the Bases Conversion and Development Authority awarded the property to an “inferior bidder.”

Britesparks said it submitted a bid of P2.02 billion while its competitor, Systems Technology Institute, offered P448 million, or a difference of P1.57 billion. Systems Technology Institute sought a 25-year fixed lease on the 2,632-sq m property.

Through its lawyer Roel Pulido, Britesparks has asked Isabela Rep. Edwin Uy, chairman of the House special committee on bases conversion, to look into the possible injustices committed against his clients.

Britesparks owners, mostly Filipinos of Chinese descent, have also asked President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to intervene so that the government may get potential income that is “most advantageous to the government.”

Britesparks submitted its bid to put up a mixed-use commercial development project that includes a world-class school campus from pre-school to college and deposited P11.8 million in bid fund. It was declared non-compliant for submitting only P3 million upfront cash instead of P3.5 million as BCDA required.

Britesparks traced its mistake to a “typographical error.”

“It is foolhardy for Britesparks not to put up the upfront cash of P3.5 million when it has deposited P11.8 million in bid fund, where the P3.5-million would be taken from anyway, and the P11 million is being held by BCDA in cash,” Pulido told Standard Today.

“Our company was already pre-qualified and submitted P11.8 million in cash [manager’s check] for our proponent’s bond. It is illogical for us to submit a non-compliant upfront cash when we have been trying to get this property for the past six years and putting a fix lease bid 2.3 times more than the minimum for the fixed lease and a yearly lease amount that is nine times more than the minimum bid,” Jeffrey Tan, Britesparks managing director, wrote in a letter to the BCDA board.

Pulido also said the BCDA denied his clients “due process” when Britesparks repeatedly tried to correct the mathematical error but was simply ignored.

Gen. Narciso Abaya, BCDA president and chief operating officer, sought the opinion of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel on the rightful winning bid. Abaya addressed his letter to Justice Alberto Agra, government corporate counsel.

“The BCDA is in a quandary on who is the rightful winning bidder between the two proponents, one with higher net present value but non-compliant with the TOR [terms of reference], and the other with lower NPV but fully compliant,” Abaya wrote Agra.

But Pulido pointed out the “obvious bias against Britesparks” by the BCDA because Agra, who was asked to render the legal opinion, also sits as BCDA corporate counsel.

Uy’s committee vowed to look into the possible rigging of the bidding process that would yield a government contract that is “disadvantageous to the government.”

Pulido said Britesparks has already submitted a motion for reconsideration with the BCDA board, asking the latter to hold in abeyance the awarding of the contract.

“We cannot help but think that the [BCDA] committee is merely looking for a ‘hole’ in our bid to make our bid non-compliant and declare the other bidder the winner despite the fact that the other bid is P1,577,461,091 less than ours,” Tan told the BCDA board.

Tan also found “flimsy” the BCDA’s excuse that the board was “not prepared for a law suit” if it accepted the Britesparks’ bid as compliant.

“If this is the case, this is the first time that we will hear that a government agency was sued for accepting a bid that is not only most advantageous to the government but also a bid that is P1,577,461,091 higher than the losing bid.

“BCDA is mandated to raise funds, how can it be sued for doing its mandate. While we feel a law suit is unlikely, we believe that anyone will be prepared to get to a law suit when you will be fighting for an additional P1,577,461,091 for the government and all the legal justifications are on the TOR that both bidders agreed to accept,” Tan told the BCDA board.

In a memorandum to President Arroyo, Abaya said that under the TOR, a non-complying proposal can not be declared a winning proposal.

“Without any reservation, BCDA maintains that we implemented a transparent and fair bidding process for subject property, as we do at all times,” Abaya told the President.


When it comes to the preparation of tender documents to contract documents filipinos are one of the best, when it comes to project management, filipinos are again are one of the best. In this case, what do you think? Corruption? or mismanagement....