Requesting Entity: Provincial Awards Committee of Nueva Vizcaya
Issues Concern: Provision of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 on Disclosure of Relations
Whether or not Section 47 of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 does not apply in case the prospective bidder has been in operation prior to the assumption of office in the procuring entity of a relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree.
As can be gleaned from the above-quoted provision (Sec. 47, IRR-A), the disqualification of a bidder who is related to the head of the procuring entity or any officer or employee of the procuring entity who has direct access to any information that may substantially affect the result of the bidding is without any exception or condition. It has been a long standing rule in statutory construction that when the law is clear and categorical, the first and fundamental duty is to apply the law according to its express terms; interpretation being called for only when such literal application is impossible. In this light, a bidder should be automatically disqualified in the event such relation as provided in Section 47 of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 is determined to be existing.
In view of the foregoing, since the owner of FHM Enterprises is the sister of the Governor who is the head of the procuring entity, a relationship by consanguinity undeniably within the third civil degree, such bidder is disqualified from participating in any bidding project of the province, notwithstanding the fact that FHM Enterprises has been in operation prior to the time the said Governor assumed his office.