NPM No. 096-2015
Requesting Entity: Department of Budget and Management Regional Office VIII
Issues Concern: Deadline for Submission and Opening of Bids
Whether the Procuring Entity may revert to its original schedule of submission and opening of bids, although it is less than the prescribed period provided in the rules, in order to fast track its procurement
Republic Act (RA) No. 9184 having been enacted for the advancement of public welfare, undoubtedly contains mandatory provisions. Failure to follow such rules generally renders the proceeding to which it relates illegal and void, or the violation of which makes the decision rendered therein invalid.
[F]or the conduct of pre-bid conference, Section 22.2 of the IRR of RA 9184 provides: "The pre-bid conference shall be held at least twelve (12) calendar days before the deadline for the submission and receipt of bids. xxx ."
On the other hand, Section 22.5.2. reads: "Supplemental/Bid Bulletins may be issued upon the procuring entity's initiative for purposes of clarifying or modifying any provision of the Bidding Documents at least seven (7) calendar days before the deadline for the submission and receipt of bids. xxx ."
The word "shall" connotes command and compulsion. It is a basic legal construction that where words of command such as "shall," "must," or "ought" are employed, they are generally and ordinarily regarded as mandatory. Thus, as Section 22.2 and 22.5.1of the IRR of RA 9184 used the word "shall", a mandatory duty is imposed, which the procuring entity ought to enforce.