BUGUIAS, Benguet – The Board of Directors of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) denied the earlier request of management to re-bid the construction of its Man-asok minihydro project here after the winning bidder was able to correct the reported status of its license and to avoid further legal implications in the future.
Aside from denying the re-bid of the minihydro power project, the board ordered the management to go back to the provisions of the old terms of reference and subsequently issue the appropriate notice to proceed to the winning bidder, PHESCO Inc., to allow the contractor to proceed with the renewable energy project that will help in the development of potential sources of renewable energy in the cooperative’s franchise area.
Earlier, BENECO General Manager Gerardo P. Verzosa and Power Generation and Operation Department Manager Ricardo S. Pallogan strongly recommended to the Board of Directors the re-bidding of its Man-asok minihydro power project after a painstaking review and analyse the facts of the alleged current impasse that the cooperative has with Kaltimex Energy Philippines.
The two BENECO officials requested the members of the Board to take note that compared to the previous administration, the National electrification Administration (NEA) and the Department of energy (DOE) acted with dispatch on the request of Kaltimex.
“We could not avoid but think that there seems to be particular interest given to our hydro project and that the inescapable conclusion would be that Kaltimex is dead set in assailing the bidding we had approved or to derail the project’s implementation. Obviously, Kaltimex wanted to use the DOE as a platform to scuffle the contract we have with PHESCO. We will that a re-bidding will put the issue to rest. Doing so would be the most effective measure to put an end to whatever plans Kaltimex may be pursuing be it legal or otherwise,” the letter stated.
According to the two BENECO officials, a re-bidding of its minihydro power project would surely satisfy NEA and the DOE which perhaps could now be speculating as a result of the successful bid of Kaltimex to win their attention on the project.
BENECO has not yet issued the notice to proceed to PHESCO in view of the unforeseen action of Kaltimex to have brought the matter to the attention of the Chairman of the NEA Board of Administrators and DOE Secretary.
The two officials warned the Board of Directors that the cooperative will face a more difficult and complexed situation should NEA favour the position of Kaltimex while the project will be underway.
In his letter to NEA officer-in-charge Sonia B. San Diego, KAltimex President and Chief Executive officer Oscar A. Torralba inquired on the proper application of the NEA Procurement Guidelines pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9RA) 10531 in conformity with RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act referring to the eligibility of bidders and post-qualification procedures as in the case of bidding of BENECO’s minihydro power plant in Man-asok.
Toralba claimed BENECIO awarded to PHESCO Inc., the sole bidder for the Man-asok minihydro power project with AA license as certified by the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) which is in violation of its own bidding requirements that the bidder must possess AAA license as set forth in Section 5.2 of the cooperative’s bid documents.
Based on BENECO’s Invitation to Bid as published, the bidding will be conducted through competitive procedures using non-discretionary pass/fail criterion as specified in the cooperative’s procurement policy and NEA procurement guidelines and simplified procedures for electric cooperatives.