A Multi-Million Contract with the Department of Education (DepEd)

Johnny B. Lantion

General Manager, NFCPWD

8th Annual General Assembly

August 26, 2004 will always be a memorable day for the NFCPWD! This was the day when the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) finally awarded to the Federation a multi-million contract called PS-NFCPWD 2004-001 amounting to Php 48,641,760.00 sourced from the DepEd’s 2002 10% allocations for cooperatives of persons with disability. The contract is for the supply and door-to-door delivery of secondary armchairs made of steel and wood. The notice to proceed (NTP) was issued on October 16, 2004 stating the countdown of the 150-calendar day contract.

The contract did not come easy. It took almost two years of intensive lobbying with the DepEd before this came to reality. It started in November 2002 where a pre-bid conference was held. Subsequently, a series of negotiation followed to iron out provisions of contract of award. However, due to changes in the DepEd leadership, the awarding was stalled. Towards the end of 2003 up to the beginning of 2004, negotiations to implement the budget were done between the DepEd and the Federation. Then Undersecretary Miguel Luz finally agreed to enforce the contract at a negotiated price of P685 per armchair. We were promised a mobilization fund of Php10 million. With great difficulty, we were able to raise the required Php 2.5 million performance bond and paid this to the DepEd hoping that the long awaited contract would materialize in February 2004. However, when the DepEd accounting department checked the availability of funds, it was found out that the budget was already obligated to DBM-PS by the end of December 2003 to avoid the reverting of the money to the National Treasury.

With the funds obligated to PS-DBM, another series of negotiation took place further delaying the contract’s implementation. PS tried to further reduce the price and insisted that the provision of mobilization fund was illegal. After tough negotiations, the unit price was set at Php 680 per chair with the promise to deliver a “Mercedes” not a “KIA” - which means the chairs will be in the best possible condition in terms of quality and durability.