Solon seeks probe into P4-billion national ID project

A LEADER of the House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Finance (DOF) to look into the alleged “rigged” bidding of the P4-billion supply contract for the national ID project of the government.

Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr., in a statement, asked BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to immediately step in and stop the implementation of the alleged rigged bidding from proceeding.

According to Pichay, one of the principal authors of the national ID law, after all participating bidders had submitted their eligibility requirements, the BSP bids and awards committee imposed a “controversial and questionable additional provision” that virtually wiped out participating bidders to the P4-billion ID card project save for two complying bidders.

However, Pichay said one of the two surviving bidders copped out, saying, “this strange event virtually handed over the lucrative P4-billion contract to the lone surviving bidder.”

Pichay said “evidently the chain of events depict a scripted machination carried out on cue, with one of two surviving bidders opting out to conveniently hand over the P4-billion contract to the only remaining eligible, complying bidder.”

This scheme, the lawmaker said guarantees the loss of hundreds of millions of badly needed funds by the government in the fight against Covid-19.

“The blatant violations of the implementing rules of Republic Act 9184 suffice to thwart the despicable and execrable machinations of the conspirators that enabled a favored lone complying bidder to survive the bid process after the additional provision imposed by the BSP bids and awards committee simply purged and eviscerated other participating bidders,” he added.

With this, Pichay said a congressional probe should be conducted to bring to light these anomalous practices he claimed preceded the stint of Diokno at BSP, and expose certain unscrupulous parties from within and outside of the BSP.

“I am totally confident that BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, leaders of proven integrity and two of the vanguards of the Duterte government against corruption and malfeasance in government, will not allow this rotten bid from prospering at all,” Pichay added.

The solon said the national ID project could have facilitated and speeded up the release of the cash assistance to legitimate indigent families under the government’s Covid 19 emergency support programs.

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