DepEd awards 90-M contract to NFCPWD


(BY: Daisy Valerio)

In November 2006, the Federation was invited to attend the BAC (Bids and Awards Committee) meeting of the Department of Education (DepEd) for the final negotiation of the contract under the 2005 10% Special Provision for cooperatives of PWDs.

National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP). This justified an alternative mode of procurement since bidding with only one qualified bidder is not applicable.

The Federation had lots of concerns that needed to be addressed. For one, the standard DepEd design for secondary tablet armchairs with a combination of wood and steel is more costly compared to the NFCPWD design because the first has about 3x the number of wedding joints and uses additional 30% steel pipes.The DepEd design cannot also be stacked during the delivery of the components to the schools.

Both types were presented to the BAC for comparison. Since we offered our design at a lower price (P750 compared to P805), using the NFCPWD design was equivalent to 8000 more armchairs for the same amount of money.This convinced the BAC to order the model with few minor changes, the one that has been successfully suppied since 1993.

Prior to the negotiation with DepEd, the CBM had committed to provide the federation a loan of Php60 M at 12% interest per annum. Without that commitment, the federation's management could not have accepted the challenge of the new multi-million contract which is almost twice the amount of the previous contract under the Procurement Service.

It took an intensive follow-up before we could pick up the signed contract on February 9, 2007. Although the federation has a long track record with the DepEd, the new leadership under Secretary Jesli Lapus wanted to establish our capability to handle the huge purchase order. The Secretary personally visited the NFCPWD national office and the SIKAPMPC workshop on January 18, 2007 to get first-hand information on how the federation works. We presented to him our component production system under the management of the national office - cooperatives which are strategically located near the sources of wood will take charge of manufacturing the wood components of the chairs while others with easy access to steel will concentrate on the steel component. Delivery and assembly at the schools is organized by the national office with the exemption of areas where member-cooperatives are located. With this detailed presentation, the Secretary was convinced of our capability to implement the Php90 M contract.

A major consideration in the contract is the distrbution to the recipient schools. In earlier years, we delivered the armchairs to schools in areas close to our production sites or at least concentrated in certain areas. This time, the delivery points are scattered in various area around the country - north to south, east to west, islands to mountains. Obviously, this meant additional expenses, extra labor and sacrifices on the part of the PWD-workers, the member-cooperatives and the whole federation. Nevertheless, NFCPWD accepted the great challenge.