Requesting Entity: Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
Issues Concern: Negotiated Procurement
1. Whether or not a procuring entity may limit the conduct of its negotiated procurement to only three (3) bidders.
The requirement under Section 54.2 (b) of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 is for the procuring entity to draw up a list of at least three (3) suppliers or contractors which will be invited to submit bids. This applies only in cases where there has been two (2) failed biddings or in case of imminent danger to life or property during a state of calamity, or when time is of the essence arising from natural or man-made calamities or other causes where immediate action is necessary to prevent damage to or loss of life or property, or to restore vital public services, infrastructure facilities and other public utilities.
The circumstances earlier mentioned contemplates a situation where immediate determination of a supplier or contractor which will satisfy the procurement requirement is a necessity.
For this reason, a procuring entity is given the authority to draw up a list of at least three (3) suppliers or contractors known to be technically, legally and financially capable. Limiting the list into three (3) suppliers or contractors of known capability helps the procuring entity in focusing on the proposals rather than the qualification of the suppliers or contractors. In this light, procuring entities may be able to shorten the time for the evaluation of the proposals and determine that which will be most advantageous to the government.
2. Whether or not, in case of a negotiated procurement, may the conduct of a pre -bid conference be dispensed with.
As defined in Section 5 (h) of IRR-A competitive bidding or public bidding involves the following process: advertisement, pre-bid conference, eligibility screening of prospective bidders, receipt and opening of bids, evaluation of bids, post-qualification, and award of contract.
In this regard, when there has been a failure of bidding for the second time and negotiated procurement is resorted to, the conduct of a pre-bid conference is required. Please note, however, that the conduct of a pre-bid conference is required only for contracts to be bid with an approved budget of one million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or more. For projects costing less than one million pesos (P1,000,000.00), holding a pre-bid conference is at the discretion of the Bids and Awards Committee.
3. Whether or not the submission and opening of bids be conducted within five (5) days or less after the pre-bid conference.
The rules and procedures for the conduct of a public bidding should be followed when a negotiated procurement is resorted to in case there have been two (2) failed biddings. As such, the period required for each stage of procurement should also be followed. Section 22.2 of the IRR-A provides a period of at least twelve (12) calendar days between the pre-bid conference and the submission and opening of bids, to wit:
The pre-bid conference shall be held at least twelve (12) calendar days before the deadline for the submission and receipt of bids . However, attendance of the bidders shall not be mandatory. (Emphasis supplied)
In this light, the submission and opening of bids cannot be conducted five (5) days or less after the pre- bid conference regardless of the fact that the procurement is through negotiated procurement.