Requesting Entity: Metropolitan Cebu Water District
Issues Concern: Matching Privilege of Provincial Bidders under Section 45 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations Part A of Republic Act No. 9184
Whether or not the matching privilege of provincial bidders under Section 45 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations Part A (IRR-A) of Republic Act 9184 (R.A. 9184) is applicable to procurement of infrastructure projects regardless of source of funds.
Considering that the term “provincial projects” is specially defined by law (Sec. 44, R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A), it follows that the matching privilege for provincial bidders provided under Article XIII of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A on bidding of provincial projects exclusively applies only to those priority programs and infrastructure projects that are located in engineering districts, funded out of the annual GAA, and are identified in consultation with the concerned members of the Congress. Thus, the matching privilege or preference to provincial bidders accorded by law cannot be invoked in all types of government projects located within a province.
While it is true that Section 4 of R.A. 9184 provides that said law shall govern all types of government procurement regardless of source of funds, this general provision is subject to the special provisions of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A. Evidently, Sections 44-45 are special provisions of the law that has specific application on bidding provincial projects, whereas Section 4 of R.A. 9184 is the proviso providing for the general application of the law. The two must not be confused or interchanged.
In view of the foregoing, we are of the opinion that the matching privilege of provincial bidders stated in Sections 44-45 of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A finds no application in the MCWD’s conduct of public bidding for the rehabilitation of its office building. Apparently, said project is not a “provincial project” as specially defined under Section 44 of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184.