Requesting Entity: Department of Transportation and Communications
Issues Concern: Submission of Proof of Renewal of Mayor's Permit in Lieu of Mayor's Permit
Whether or not submission of documents proving the renewal of a bidder's mayor's permit may be considered sufficient to satisfy compliance with the eligibility requirements.
Submission of Mayor's Permit Mandatory; Eligibility Check Non-Discretionary
Section 23.6 of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 provides that the determination of eligibility of prospective bidders shall be based on the submission of the documents enumerated therein, among which, is a valid and current mayor's permit/municipal license. Moreover, Section 23.2 of the said IRR-A provides that the determination of eligibility shall be through an examination of the completeness of each prospective bidder's eligibility requirements or statements against a checklist of requirements using a non-discretionary "pass/fail" criteria. In using the non-discretionary "pass/fail" criteria, the BAC merely checks for the presence or absence of the required documents. A prospective bidder is declared to be "eligible" for a particular requirement if such document is present, complete, and patently sufficient; otherwise, the absence, incompleteness, or patent insufficiency of a requirement will result to a prospective bidder's ineligibility to bid.
In this regard, the submission of documents other than the mayor's permit itself cannot be considered as sufficient compliance with the requirement, regardless of the fact that such documents tend to prove that a mayor's permit has been applied for. Consideration of the documents submitted in lieu of the mayor's permit will lead to an exercise of discretion among the BAC members - an action which the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 expressly prohibits during eligibility check. The subsequent receipt by Prime of its mayor's permit on the same day it has submitted its bidding documents should not be considered as a reason for considering its submission as sufficient compliance with the eligibility requirements.
Modification and Withdrawal of Bids Allowed
The above-quoted provision (Sec. 26.1, IRR-A) clearly allows a prospective bidder from modifying its bid submitted prior to the deadline for submission and receipt of bids. In this light, Prime cannot seek refuge from the delayed release of its mayor's permit. According to Prime, it received its mayor's permit on the same day it has submitted its bidding documents or on March 22, 2004. However, the last day for the submission and receipt of bids was scheduled on March 23, 2004 at 9:30 a.m. In this case, Prime was not denied the opportunity to include its new mayor's permit in its bidding documents by modifying the documents it earlier submitted.
We are cognizant of the fact that a mayor's permit in the process of renewal does not deny a company authority from exercising its business, however, harsh as it may be, the law calls for the submission of a mayor's permit as a requirement for eligibility, not mere proofs of its renewal.