BAGUIO CITY – The spokesperson of the Igorot Liberation Front (ILF), an anti-corruption watchdog in the Cordilleras, wants Public Works Secretary Mark Villar to immediately replace Regional Director Tiburcio Canlas of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) for his alleged unwelcome attitude towards Cordilleran contractors,
In his 2-page letter to Secretary Villar, ILF spokesperson Rafael Wasan requested the ranking DPWH official to investigate the conduct of the required public bidding of various infrastructure projects, especially during the public bidding last November 7, 2019, that caused the outright rejection of the award of some contracts to the local contractors due to the alleged collusion of some members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) that nullified the sanctity of transparency and competitive bidding before it will become a social concern and issue in the region.
While it may take some time for the cordillera leaders to legally prove the alleged corrupt activities of the said office, he pointed out that the said official is not reportedly welcome in the region because of lack of familiary to the culture and traditions of the Cordillerans.
Wasan narrated that at around 8:30 AM of Thursday, November 7, 2019 at the second floor of the DPWH-CAR building lobby, many contractors, liaison officers, radio and print media reporters, and concerned citizens arrived to witness a public invitation to bid published by the agency.
He claimed that the numerous participants in the scheduled public bidding of projects said to have allegedly alarmed DPWH officials, and reportedly mobilized their personnel to close the bidding room to the public with locked door in violation of the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Act.
The complainant asserted that the action of DPWH-CAR officials deserve the imposition of the appropriate penalties against them.
According to him, the obvious deprivation of the concerned citizens of access to the supposed transparent bidding process is questionable.
The deprivation of concerned citizens and some media personalities access to the supposed conduct of public and transparent bidding process earned the ire of anti-corruption advocates who are now gathering the necessary signatures to petition the immediate replacement of incumbent DPWH-CAR officials with that of responsible and dedicated Cordilleran directors.
The petitions that will be prepared by the concerned sectors will be forwarded to the office of Secretary Villar for his information, guidance, ready reference and further needed action for the benefit of transparency in the agency’s transactions.
Before the bidding process a staff of the agency explained to the members of the media that the have legal basis in not allowing anybody to just enter and observe the bidding process.