Requesting Entity: Philippine International Trading Corporation
Issues Concern: Single Largest Completed Contract (SLCC)
Opinion on possible alternatives to the SLCC requirement to bidders in the procurement of goods.
The SLCC criterion is so required in order to ensure that the Government is contracting with an entity that has accomplished at least one project with a value no less than fifty percent (50%) of the contract to be bid.
Nevertheless, if PITC fails to attract call centers that can satisfy the SLCC requirement under Section 18.104.22.168 of the IRR, it can encourage interested bidders to form a joint venture (JV) under Section 23.1 (b), wherein the eligibility criterion relative to the largest single contract of at least fifty percent (50%) of the approved budget for the contract to be bid should be complied with by at least one of the parties to the joint venture for purposes of determining its eligibility.
In addition, we wish to note that we have discussed in a previous opinion that a contract shall be considered "similar" to the contract to be bid if it involves goods or services of the same nature and complexity as the subject matter of the project being procured. This requirement should not be interpreted strictly as to unreasonably limit competition and inequitably bar participation of capable suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and service providers; much more, to constrain procuring entities in the performance of their constituent and ministrant functions. Hence, similarity of contract should be interpreted liberally in the sense that it should not refer to an exact parallel but only to an analogous one of similar category.
Based on the foregoing, we are of the view that ongoing contracts cannot substitute for the requirement for completed contracts of similar nature to the contract subject for bidding as required by Section 22.214.171.124 of the IRR. If the implementation of the requirement will result in failure of bidding, the exceptions provided in the same Section may be applied.