NPM No. 125-2016

Requesting Entity: Eleccom Co., Ltd.

Issues Concern: Authentication of Translated Foreign Documents



Whether the Korean Embassy in the Philippines may authenticate the translated foreign documents submitted by the bidder in accordance with Section 23.2 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9184.

Authentication of Translated Foreign Documents

For a better understanding of the requirements, the relevant provisions are summarized and itemized as follows:

  •    1. If a document submitted to the BAC is executed in a language other than English, the document must be translated to English.
  •    2. The translation shall be conducted by any of the following:
    •       a. The relevant foreign government agency;
    •       b. The foreign government agency authorized to translate documents; or
    •       c. A registered translator in the country of the foreign bidder.
  •    3. The translated document shall be authenticated by either of the following:
    •       a. The appropriate Philippine foreign service establishment or post (i.e. Embassy of the Philippines in London); or
    •       b. Offices equivalent to foreign service posts which have jurisdiction over the bidder`s affairs in the Philippines (i.e. British Embassy in Manila).
  •    4. The original document executed in a foreign language and its authenticated English translation must be submitted together.

Whether the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is authorized to define or interpret specific provisions of the IRR of RA 9184 by providing an additional sentence in the Instruction to Bidders (ITB) of the Philippine Bidding Documents (PBD).

[T]here is nothing in RA 9184, its IRR, and other allied issuances which empowers the BAC to define terms used in the IRR, or the ITB, for its own procurement activities. If allowed, it would violate the principle of streamlined procedures being espoused in the procurement rules as provided under Section 3(c) of RA 9184 and its IRR, and may further result in the submission of different eligibility requirements.

Whether Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132 of the Revised Rules of Court and the ruling in Merope Enriquez vda. de Catalan v. Louella A. Catalan-Lee are applicable to bidding activities under RA 9184.

Section 4 of Rule 1 of the Rules of Court specifically provides that its rules are not applicable in cases not specified in the Rules of Court, except simply by analogy or in suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient. Moreover, in the case of Manila Electric Company v. National Labor Relations Commission, et al., the Supreme Court held that in administrative proceedings, the technical rules of evidence are not strictly adhered to and generally apply only suppletorily. Hence, in the presence of applicable rules, the Rules of Court should not apply as it is only suppletory in character.

In authenticating translated documents, Section 23.2 specified the rules to be complied in order to render the translated foreign documents acceptable as eligibility documents. Since rules on the matter have been provided, the Rules of Court can not apply.