Requesting Entity: Municipality of Balangiga
Issues Concern: Special Philippine Contractors’ Accreditation Board (PCAB) License requirement for Joint Ventures (JVs) in the procurement of Infrastructure Projects
Whether or not a Special PCAB License is one of the eligibility requirements to be submitted by JV prospective bidders in the conduct of bidding for infrastructure projects.
Based on the aforequoted provision (Section 23.6, IRR-A, R.A. 9184), it can be observed that although entities under a JV participating in a particular procurement as prospective bidders are required to submit a valid Joint Venture Agreement as part of its Class “B” eligibility documents, they are still required to submit as part of their Class “A” eligibility documents a valid PCAB license and registration for the type and cost of the contract to be bid. Thus, aside from their separate individual license and registration with the PCAB, contractors forming themselves into a JV must have obtained a license and registered with the PCAB as early as the time when they submit their eligibility documents, considering that such contractors shall be treated a single entity for such project under the name of the JV. This is also in consonance with Section 38 of Republic Act No. 4566, otherwise known as the “Contractors’ License Law,” which explicitly provides:
x x x x
In view of the foregoing, entities forming themselves into a JV are required to submit a PCAB license to act in such capacity as part of their eligibility requirements, and failing to submit such license shall render the joint venture ineligible to participate in the bidding, and shall be rated as “failed” under the non-discretionary “pass/fail” criteria prescribed by the IRR-A of R.A. 9184.
On our inquiry, however, from the PCAB’s office of the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), we were informed that one of the legal documents required by PCAB for the application of a Special License for JVs is a copy of the “Invitation to Bid” or “Instruction to Bidders” or “Notice to Bidders” published or disseminated by the procuring agency. Moreover, the entire process for approving the said license applied for normally takes five (5) to seven (7) working days. As such, procuring agencies are advised to provide ample and considerable time for prospective bidders who wish to form a JV to secure the appropriate PCAB license and accomplish all their eligibility requirements before the deadline for the submission of the same.