Tuesday, May 6, 2014

LRT-MRT Ticketing Project Completely Aboveboard Says Abaya

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Reacting to initial reports that an Ombudsman case has been filed against him and other officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in relation to the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) Project, Secretary Joseph “Jun” Abaya vouches that laws and rules were properly followed in the project’s bidding process.

“We were sure to follow all bidding rules and processes very carefully. The process was completely aboveboard. This is why we are ready to face this complaint – as long as what you do is right, you have nothing to fear,” said Abaya.

“We have not received any official copy of the complaint yet. At this stage, we are only reacting to several news reports. We will review the complaint once we receive a copy, but we are not worried since we know that there was nothing irregular in the bidding out of the project,” he added.

According to initial reports, the complaint filed before the Ombudsman was made by a group called the National Coalition of Filipino Consumers or NCFC.

In February this year, shortly after the project was awarded to the Ayala- and Metro Pacific-led AF Consortium, a group called the Coalition of Filipino Consumers or CFC threatened to file a suit to question the project’s award. AF Consortium narrowly beat SM Consortium in the open and transparent bidding process conducted by the agency. CFC claimed that the project should have been awarded to the SM Consortium instead.

The transport department is still verifying whether NCFC is the same organization as CFC, since both groups are raising the same issues. These are also the same issues raised by the SM Consortium in its appeals to the DOTC’s Bids and Awards Committee while the bidding was ongoing. All these issues were resolved against SM Consortium for lack of merit.

In an article published in today’s edition of the Manila Standard Today, the SM group is reported to be losing interest in the country’s infrastructure projects, since it lost the AFCS bidding.

Neither CFC nor the SM Consortium, however, has filed a case in court to question the legality of the DOTC’s bidding process.

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