Bidders told: Don’t use PNP as ‘guinea pig’

September 11, 2018

(Conclusion)

TIRED of getting poor quality products from foreign suppliers during previous administrations, the Philippine National Police leadership is now making sure it would get quality goods and has called on would-be bidders not to use the PNP as a virtual guinea pig’ for their cheap products.

“Wag ninyong pag-praktisan ang PNP. You establish your market here in our country and prove that you have quality and at the same time quantity,” said Deputy Director General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the PNP Deputy Chief for Operations and concurrent chairman of the PNP National Headquarters Bids and Award Committee.

Companies selling motor vehicles to the police force should have been in existence in the country for the past 15 years,

with service centers. Gamboa said this rule will prevent ‘new players’ from entering the PNP scene.

The new policy effectively prevents companies like Mahindra of India -- the one which sold 2,054 units of the controversial Mahindra patrol vehicles worth P1.89-billion to the PNP during the Aquino administration -- from getting contracts with the police force.

The Commission on Audit two months ago red-flagged the 2015 PNP purchase amid complaints on defects of the vehicle, 10 percent of which are now reportedly not running. There is also the case of Foton, a Chinese vehicle manufacturer which claimed to have service centers. It was later discovered that those reported Foton service centers were actually mere machine shops.

Journal Group sources said the policy would also virtually eliminate  foreign gun-makers from bidding. A source claimed some of the automatic rifles donated by a foreign government to the PNP and the Armed Forces failed a random test.

“The rifles malfunctioned after firing 3,000 to 6,000 live ammunition only. This is very much unlike the weapons which successfully passed the 20,000 firing test without any defects and as a result were purchased by the current PNP leadership,” one of the sources said.

Gamboa said they also have in mind the safety and security of their men on the field each time they purchase logistical equipment. He said  dealers from India, South Korea and China bid to supply the PNP with Level 3 Combat Helmet but their bids   failed to pass a strict quality test.

Gamboa said  what they need right now is more fiscal reforms. He cited the fact that Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act poses a problem on standardization.

“You can’t choose who will win sa competitive bidding. Kaya dapat ay me special provisions like sa  purchase ng firearms or communication equipment. Sa communications equipment, we need adaption and migration, sa firearms naman, ang inter-operability ang problema,” he said.

Having procured three different pistols: the Canik TP9SF-Elite-S  of Turkey,  Taurus by Brazil and Masada by Israel, Gamboa said they are studying the possibility that the guns will be issued by regions.

President Duterte had made it very clear: he only wants ‘state-of-the-art’ guns, bullet-proof vests, combat helmets, vehicles and other equipment for his policemen and soldiers.

President Duterte vowed to make sure the bidding processes for government projects will not be abused by corrupt government officials and companies, NHQ-BAC closely monitors bidding  of other units.

Gamboa said that on orders of PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, the NHQ-BAC which he heads is closely monitoring PNP procurement all over the country.

He referred to the procurement program of the PNP’s elite Special Action Force which in 2017 was given nearly P3 billion by President Duterte to procure more equipment for its commandos.

Gamboa is the chair of the NHQ-BAC while PNP Director for Logistics, Director Jose Maria Victor DF Ramos is his vice-chairman. Other members of the NHQ-BAC are the directors of the PNP  Comptrollership, Plans, Investigation and Detective Management and Legal Service.

Last August 13, President Duterte fired Brigadier General Edwin Leo Torrelavega,  chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center, Colonel Antonio Punzalan, the head of its logistics office and 20 others reportedly for massive corruption involving millions.  One of the anomalies uncovered was the “ghost” delivery of P1.49 million worth of supplies.

Gen. Gamboa said  they are seeing to it that the AFPMC incident won’t happen at the PNP General Hospital. “Actually, the PNP Health Service performed well during the time of Generals Bob Quenery and Ted Carranza,” he said. Carranza is now the Police Regional Office 4-A director in Calabarzon region.

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