The local government of Makati holds a new bidding conference for the supplier of the city’s free birthday cakes for senior citizens.
The cake-giving program remains controversial, as lawyer Renato Bondal claims that the Binays overpriced the cakes.
Mara Cepeda reports.
Makati’s controversial free-birthday-cakes-for-senior-citizens program will soon have a new supplier, as the public bidding for the birthday cakes ends on Monday, August 10.
The birthday cakes became the subject of controversy in August 2014 when lawyer Renato Bondal claimed that suspended Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay and his father Vice President Jejomar Binay overpriced the cakes.
Cups & Mugs Kitchenette and Catering Services, allegedly a front for the Vice President, was the cake supplier until February 2014.
In March 2014, Bakerite was set to replace Cups & Mugs. But the granting of the final bidding contract was put on hold following the onslaught of corruption allegations against the Binays and Junjun’s eventual suspension.
Acting Mayor Kid Peña, with the help of unnamed sponsors, has been personally purchasing the cakes until the selection of the winning bidder as the new cake supplier.
Through this hallway is the Pio del Pilar Conference Room inside Makati City Hall, where the local government is waiting for suppliers to place their final bids.
Once the clock strikes 2 in the afternoon, the Makati Bids and Awards Committee will open the documents.
But only one group places its bid to be the next supplier of the birthday cakes.
Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc. proposes a budget of P8.6 million, lower than the approved budget for the contract at P9.3 million.
A chocolate cake is priced at P285, a marble cake P275.50, and a mocha-flavored cake is P266.
Makati Bids and Awards Committee chairperson Danilo Villas says the bidding was open since July, but Goldilocks was the only company that bought the bidding documents.
DANILO VILLAS, CHAIRPERSON, MAKATI BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE: We waited for any company interested to become a bidder. We gave everyone equal opportunities to bid.
Representatives from Goldilocks refuse to speak with the media.
But before the contract is finally awarded to Goldilocks, the Bids and Awards Committee’s technical working group will further evaluate the company’s submitted documents.
DANILO VILLAS, CHAIRPERSON, MAKATI BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE: We have to validate the submitted documents for us to determine the lowest calculated bid, post qualification, for us to determine the lowest calculated responsive bid. Once we recommend na po ito, we will recommend the issuance of the notice of award.
The committee is expected to announce the final supplier for the birthday cakes within the next 7 days.
If approved, Goldilocks will be the cake supplier from August 15 to December 21, 2015 or only about four and half months.
It seems suppliers are shying away from associating their products from Makati’s controversial cake-giving program.
But when Makati Mayor Jun-jun Binay’s suspension is lifted and when the bidding for the birthday cakes opens again in December, it remains to be seen if the suppliers will flock to the Makati City Hall or veer away like today.
Mara Cepeda, Rappler, Makati
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