Newly confirmed Secretary Manuel Bonoan of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has assured lawmakers that his office will look into the clamored “blacklisting” of bogus contractors and a watchdog nongovernment organization (NGO) that reportedly have been meddling in DPWH-conducted public biddings allegedly to extort money from legitimate bidders, a House official said on Friday.
At the same time, Villafuerte welcomed the confirmation of the appointment of Bonoan by the Commission on Appointments.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, the majority leader of this 25-member body that screens presidential appointees, brought to Bonoan’s attention the complaints of DPWH district engineers and contractors’ organizations reaching his office that there are at least 9 supposed contractors that have been participating in biddings on public works projects “but whose sole purpose is to make trumped-up charges of bid riggings and then demanding hush money from the legit bidders.”
“We want to call your (Bonoan) attention … (these complaints were) provided to me, and under your leadership.. please attend to them. These complaints involving these companies for possible blacklisting or not,” said Villafuerte during the CA hearing.
Villafuerte said that resorting to the same mulcting approach, a DPWH-accredited NGO claiming to be an anti-graft watchdog has been participating as an official observer in DPWH-set public biddings and then also raising a howl of protest over fake charges of bid riggings with an eye to extorting hush money from the participating bidders.
Bonoan responded by thanking Villafuerte “for bringing this up. Rest assured, Your Honor, that we will attend to it 100 percent in order that we can clean up and … more good governance in my administration in the department.”
The president of the National Unity Party also said he fully supported Bonoan’s appointment, saying that “the DPWH and our country are in good hands under his leadership.”
The former president-CEO of SMC Tollways, Bonoan first served as DPWH secretary during the term of then-President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo.