Requesting Entity: Philippine Shipbuilders and Repairers Association
Issues Concern: Request for Exemption from the Largest Single Contract Criterion Under Section 23.11.1(2) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations Part A (IRR-A) of Republic Act No. 9184 (R.A. 9184)
As Section 23.6 of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 is clear and emphatic on the bases of the eligibility of a prospective bidder, it is mandatory for a prospective bidder to show that the value of its largest single completed contract similar to contract to be bid is at least 50% of the approved budget for the contract to qualify it to bid in such project. Thus, this eligibility criterion cannot be dispensed with or compromised as this is one of the minimum requirements that a prospective bidder has to satisfy to establish its track record and capacity to perform contractual obligations.
It must be noted also that although the GPPB acts as an agent of the legislature insofar as it is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations in the exercise of its quasi-legislative functions or rule-making power, as sanctioned by Section 63 of R.A. 9184, such authority is limited only to supplementary or detailed and interpretative legislations. R.A. 9184 did not grant the GPPB the quasi-legislative authority of contingent legislation or the power to determine some facts or state of things upon which the enforcement of law depends, much more the authority to waive the application of a particular provision of the R.A. 9184 or its IRR-A for the benefit of a particular government agency, private sector or individual. Upon the effectivity of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A, the inevitable legal consequence of which is enforcement and implementation without exceptions.
Thus, while we are cognizant of the present predicament of PHILSAR and our local shipbuilders in their participation in the procurement of government projects, the GPPB cannot simply act beyond the statutory limits of its conferred authority to protect local industries. It must not be forgotten that the GPPB as an agent of the legislature is limited to the jurisdiction and powers expressly granted to it or necessarily implied from the provisions of R.A. 9184, which created such body. It must strictly perform its legal mandate through sound policy formulation within the limits of its delegated quasi-legislative authority, and enforce the mandatory provision of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A. Thus, it has been the consistent position of the GPPB not to grant any exemption from the application of procurement laws, rules and regulations in favor of procuring entities, suppliers, manufacturers, consultants and contractors, nor waive any of the provisions of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A.