Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DND to hold third bidding for used choppers

From InterAksyon (Aug 28): DND to hold third bidding for used choppers

Although the law allows a negotiated purchase after two failed bidding attempts, the government will call a third bid for the procurement of 21 refurbished units of its air workhorse, the UH-1H helicopter, “to be transparent.”

“[That’s true] that per law, after two failed biddings we can go to negotiations. But as the development comes in there were some proponents who signified their interest. So we bid in order for us to be transparent,” Philippine Air Force chief, General Lauro Catalino dela Cruz, said at a forum of the Manila Overseas Press Club.

The bidding for the P1.2 billion worth of choppers will be handled by the bids and awards committee of the Department of National Defense.

The preliminary bidding was conducted by the DND-BAC on August 16 and the opening of the bid documents is scheduled for September 3.

The pre-bidding was participated in by RADOM Aviation Systems Ltd., ST Aerospace/Singapore Technologies Aerotech, Vector Aerospace, and Stone of David Tactical Equipment Company, with the firm Hanwha sitting as observer.

At the same forum, Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista said the budget for the 21 helicopters is separate from the funds earmarked by President Benigno Aquino III to upgrade the capability of the military for territorial defense.

“That (project) is not part of the P75-billion (territorial defense) funding,” Bautista clarified, correcting earlier reports.

The acquisition of the choppers would boost the Air Force’s lift capability, especially during disasters.

The DND has refused to disclose the reasons for the two failed biddings.

If the third bidding is successful, Dela Cruz said it would only take a few months for the helicopters to be delivered.

“If things will go well then we will be able to have (the choopers) by next year,” he said.

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