Another questionable gov't contract
Editorial

Another questionable gov't contract

Nov 22, 2021, 5:15 AM
OpinYon Editorial

OpinYon Editorial

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MILLIONS of pesos in fees for vaccination cards were collected by a remittance firm with a “patently illegal” contract with the government, it was disclosed last week by Rep. Jericho Nograles.

Nograles, who supports the Duterte administration in Congress, said that the money transfer firm Pisopay should “refund all fees” it collected from fully vaccinated individuals for purposes of issuing “Quarantine Passports” and the printing of identification cards because it “lacked the requirement to enter into a contract with the government.”

Earlier, Pisopay president Ariel Surca told the lawmakers that his firm did not have the “net financial capacity” to negotiate with the Bureau of Quarantine. “We accept that in the financial level we’re quite negative,” Surca said during a recent House committee on overseas welfare hearing.

Committee chairman Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza earlier filed House Resolution 2198, questioning the “exorbitant fees” charged for the issuance of BOQ vaccine cards.

Nograles, who represents the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list, said that the total collections from the "illegal" contract with the government could run in the hundreds of millions of pesos.

BOQ Director Ferdinand Salcedo admitted to the panel that they committed a mistake in dealing with Pisopay, and as soon as they recognized this mistake, they took action by cancelling the deal.

Nograles criticized both the BOQ and Pisopay following his discovery that their contract did not undergo any competitive selection process and that the contracting firm was insolvent.

It behooves upon all officials, especially senators and congressmen, to expose any anomaly or irregularity that they encounter in the course of their investigations.


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