Requesting Entity: Scan Marine, Inc.
Issues Concern: Conduct of Bidding for the Procurement and Installation of Equipment for Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) at the Port District of Manila of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
1. Whether or not the PPA Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) failed to comply with the procurement rules and procedures prescribed in Executive Order No. 40, Series of 2001 (E.O. 40) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), particularly Section 16.3 thereof.
Although it is the GPPB’s function to ensure the proper implementation of R.A. 9184, the IRR-A and all other relevant rules and regulations pertaining to public procurement, it must be noted that the GPPB has no quasi- judicial powers and functions, hence it cannot investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings and make determinations of facts and exercise discretion of a judicial nature. Considering that the issues raised, based on the representations made by Scan Marine Inc. (SMI) in a series of letters, which SMI sent to PPA and The Office of the President of the Philippines, would necessarily call for an adjudication upon the merits and an examination of the veracity of the events that transpired during the bidding of the VTMS Project, especially, in the conduct of “eligibility check of prospective bidders,” we believe that the matters raised are beyond the GPPB’s jurisdiction to resolve.
2. Whether or not the GPPB may advise the PPA that the award of contract to the winning bidder be held in abeyance pending the GPPB’s response on the aforementioned issue.
With respect to your request if the GPPB may advise the PPA BAC to defer or suspend the award of contract to the winning bidder pending the GPPB’s response to the aforecited issues, we regret to inform you that such request cannot be granted. Although it is a mandate for the GPPB to ensure the proper implementation of the procurement rules and procedures, the GPPB opts not to interfere with the decisions made by the procuring agency in its actual conduct of procurement proceedings since the law gives the BAC and the head of the procuring agency, the task to make intelligent actions and decisions in the conduct of its procurement activities, consistent with the provisions of existing procurement laws.
It would have been more appropriate if SMI availed of the remedy mentioned in the aforequoted provision (Section 46.1, IRR-A) instead of asking a resolution from the GPPB on the issues raised since, to reiterate, these are beyond the GPPB’s jurisdiction to resolve.