Sunday, June 27, 2010


ROMULO Neri, president of the Social Security System, should explain why the state-administered private pension fund awarded its P3-billion identification card project to the Stradcom-led consortium despite failing to submit all bid requirements.

Militant party-list group Anakpawis said Neri should “explain to ordinary workers, stakeholders of SSS, why Stradcom was awarded the contract.”

“Hard-earned money of ordinary workers should not be held hostage to the prerogative of SSS management,” said Cherry Clemente, Anakpawis secretary general.

Clemente said the SSS management should have first consulted the workers and other stakeholders before entering into a deal with any company.

“The money in SSS should be cared for with utmost diligence and high ethical considerations (because) Neri's credibility as SSS chief is still questionable,” Clemente said.

The militant group said it is “closely studying” the issue if it will necessitate a congressional inquiry.

Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza earlier called for the scrapping of the project after losing bidders cried foul over the decision of the SSS management to award the project to Stradcom.

Losing bidders have decried the awarding of the SSS unified multipurpose identification (UMID) card project to a consortium led by Stradcom Corp., an information technology company that was involved in the controversial P4-billion LTO Information Technology project a few years ago.

Stradcom has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying it complied with all the bid requirements of SSS and was cleared in the LTO controversy.

Plaza, however, expressed surprise over reports that Stradcom cornered the SSS contract despite alleged controversies surrounding previous projects that the company undertook with other government agencies.

“Bakit pinasali ng SSS (sa bidding), e may pending imbestigasyon dito sa Congress,” Plaza told Remate Tonight. He said he would file a separate resolution to investigate and stop the Stradcom-SSS deal.

He said contracts like the ones entered into by the LTO and SSS are “one-sided” and are examples of “corruption that is hidden from the public.”

Losing bidders in the SSS project have questioned why Stradcom cornered the contract despite its failure to submit all bid documents.

The joint venture of Stradcom, All Card and Teco submitted the lowest bid of P1.689 billion in the SSS project. Another bidder, the consortium of Banner, Sinophil, Arjowiggin and C & C offered P2.189 billion for the project, while AC Corp. and Oberthur Technologies submitted a bid of P2.257 billion.

In a manifesto issued by losing bidders, “the joint venture of All Card, Stradcom and Teco should have been disqualified and not allowed to have their third envelope opened.” They said the Stradcom group had no compliance statements for ISO and ANSI certification.

The group said that despite the lacking documents, the SSS bids and awards committee still considered the Stradcom bid.

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