BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan attributed to “simple dirty politics” the claims of Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. that the purchase request made by four departments of the city for various items needed for COVID-19 response is overprìced.
Bayatan said Gamboa should have verified the information first since the amounts on the purchase request were simply estimates and still have to go through the procurement process.
“He is showing his ignorance of the law and ignorance of the fact. He is putting to shame his fellow councilors who deliberated on the budget during a special session,” Bayatan said, referring to Gamboa.
Gensoli said the products have not yet been purchased. They are only proposing to the city to buy them, she said.
Their request will have to go through a lot of processes and bidding, she said.
Bayatan explained that under the procurement process, the procuring entity indicates the estimated maximum price of an item in their budget proposal since under the bidding rules, they cannot indicate the brand and supplier of the item.
He said they should always have a term of reference so the bidder will offer their price and the kind of item they are going to supply.
This will then be bidded out and the Bids and Awards Committee will choose the lowest bidder.
“If City Health Officer Dr. Carmela Gensoli sees that the items are overpriced, they have the right to refuse or deny the purchase because it is not responsive to their need,” he said.
Gensoli said that if Gamboa wants to help the people of Bacolod he should do something against COVID-19.
The people might be thankful to him if he helps and not destroy those who are helping to fight COVID-19, she said.
Bayatan said Gamboa is exposing his ignorance of the law and he should not mislead the people.
“Almost all councilors volunteered for different committees in the fight against COVID-19, except for those with co-morbidity,” he said, adding that Gamboa is in the pink of his health but did not volunteer.
Bayatan pointed out that Councilor Israel Salanga is chairman of the Action Team for Returning OFWs (ATRO), Councilor Cindy Rojas – Action Team for Returning Non-OFW Returning Residents (ATNORR), Councilor Ayesha Villaflor – Action Team for Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR); Councilor Renecito Novero – Quarantine Center Action Team (QCAT), Councilor Ana Marie Palermo is assistant chair to the APOR and ATNORR, Councilor Archie Baribar and Bayatan – Exit Planning Team, CouncilorsDindo Ramos and Al Victor Espino – Economic Stimulus Team, while Gamboa has no committee, he said.
Gamboa claimed that as early as April he had requested that a member of the opposition be included in any committee, however, he was not included even in the poster since he is not a member of the administration party.*