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For habalhabal drivers in Cebu City: Middleman gets CH rice contract

For habalhabal drivers in Cebu City: Middleman gets CH rice contract

Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) – February 11, 2019 – 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A company whose legitimacy as a supplier was questioned earlier by the Commission on Audit won the bid to supply rice for qualified motorcycle-for-hire drivers in Cebu City.

The Bids and Awards Committee awarded the contract to Virgilio and Elsa General Merchandise last Thursday.

In 2015, COA said Virgilio and Elsa General Merchandise only served as a middleman in supplying food items to the city’s Department of Social Welfare and Services, and that it was not a legitimate supplier.

But BAC head Ronaldo Malacora said this issue has already been resolved and Virgilio and Elsa General Merchandise was able to meet legal, technical, and financial requirements.

“Na-settle naman to ilang problema before. Amo man sad na gi-check gyud during sa post-qualification nga legitimate supplier gyud siya (The previous issue has been settled. We also checked during post-qualification that it is a legitimate supplier),” he told The FREEMAN yesterday.

The city saw the firm’s warehouse in Barangay Cabancalan, Mandaue City.

Virgilio and Elsa General Merchandise was the lone bidder during the second public bidding last February 7. The first bidding scheduled on January 29 was declared a failure because no one showed interest to participate.

In the end, it was Virgilio and Elsa General Merchandise that agreed to the amount per sack of rice the city is willing to pay, which is at P2,475. The amount saves the city P25 per sack.

The city appropriated P15 million for the procurement of rice charged under Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) funds.

This week, Mayor Tomas Osmeña is expected to sign the purchase order so that the supplier can deliver the rice to the city.

City Assistant Administrator Annabeth Cuizon told The FREEMAN that once approved by Mayor Tomas Osmeña, the rice may be distributed on the city’s Charter Day on February 24.

The city decided to give rice to motorcycle-for-hire drivers here after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled to suspend the operation of Angkas nationwide.

The drivers who can avail of the aid must be registered voters in the city and recognized by the barangay-based habal-habal association or duly registered member of a transport network vehicle service (TNVS).

Drivers who own or possess motorcycle-for-hire units and an indigent whose income is below P10,000 as certified by the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) are also qualified.

Also, they should be able to submit a profile sheet to the Two-wheeled Motor Vehicle Monitoring, Coordinating, and Assistance Unit (TMV-MCAU) under the Office of the Mayor and others.

Cuizon said the list of qualified drivers is still being finalized. Based on previous data, though, there are 6,500 drivers registered in Cebu City. (FREEMAN)


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