Requesting Entity: Topmost Development & Marketing Corp.
Issues Concern: Sealing and Marking of Bids
Whether the Sealing and Marking Requirements under Clause 19.1 of the Instruction to Bidders (ITB) of the Philippine Bidding Documents (PBDs) and Section 25.1 of the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9184 are mandatory
Clause 19.1 of the ITB of the PBD for the Procurement of Goods merely restates the rules under Section 25.1 of the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9184, which requires that the bids shall be submitted simultaneously in two (2) separate sealed bid envelopes. With regard to the sealing and marking of bids, the appropriate provision of the PBD for the Procurement of Goods is Clause 20.
[T]he term used for the sealing and marking of bids is "shall". This connotes the mandatory nature of the rules as the ordinary signification of the word "shall" is imperative. For this reason, we have consistently opined that failure to observe the rules on proper sealing and marking of bids may serve as a ground to disqualify a bidder.
Further, it bears stressing that under Clause 6.1(a), ITB of the PBD for the Procurement of Goods, it is the responsibility of the bidder to take steps to carefully examine all of the Bidding Documents. Consequently, under Clause 6.5 of the same PBD, the Procuring Entity shall not assume any responsibility regarding erroneous interpretations or conclusions by the prospective or eligible bidder out of the data furnished by the Procuring Entity.