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BSP officials: Graft charges to be answered in proper forum

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas officials are ready to answer in the proper forum the charges in a complaint alleging that some of them committed graft over the P1.75-billion supply and equipment deal for the national ID system.

In a statement Thursday, the BSP said it strongly supports the rollout of the National ID as it is “key to wider financial inclusion that promotes shared economic growth and the financial wellbeing of Filipinos.

“As regards the complaint filed with the Ombudsman relative to the procurement for the printing of cards for the National ID System, rest assured that the BSP officials concerned will respond in the proper forum once required in accordance with applicable rules.”

Earlier reports said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno and six other BSP officials were charged before the Ombudsman for alleged violations of Republic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and RA 9184, the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The complainant in the case was a certain Ricardo Fulgencio IV, who identified himself as chairman of the anti-corruption group Stop Corruption Organization of the Philippines Inc.

Fulgencio alleged that the BSP officials circumvented the government procurement law when they awarded to the private firm AllCard International the contract for the supply of 116 million ID cards to be used for the National ID System program.

Aside from Diokno, the other respondents in the complaint were BSP Security Plant Complex bids and awards committee chair Prudence Angelita Kasala, BSP director Rogel Joseph del Rosario, BSP-SPC acting

production manager Carl Cesar Bibat, BSP-SPC BAC vice-chair Marianne Santos and BAC members Salvador del Mundo and Giovanni Israel Joson.

Fulgencio says while the Terms of Reference for the deal only covers the lease of card production equipment for a period of three years and the lease of card personalization equipment for a period of four

years, a “nefarious” provision was inserted in the TOR requiring the winning bidder, in this case AllCard, to procure the raw materials for the ID cards from the Swedish firm OVD Kinegram AG.

Fulgencio says that Section 5, Paragraph A of the TOR specifically states that the materials for the diffractive optically variable image device (DOVID) shall be procured “by rolls or on polycarbonate sheets from Kinegram, sufficient for printing, production and packaging of 116 million pieces” of Philippine ID cards.

Fulgencio said the procurement of raw materials for the cards should have undergone a separate bidding.

“Based on the cost breakdown in the financial proposal submitted by AllCard, P904,800,000 will be paid out to OVD Kinegram AG for the DOVID materials and another P841 million for the polycarbonate sheets. This simply means that OVD Kinegram AG was awarded the amount of P1.75 billion without going through public bidding,” the complaint said.

The complaint further said the BSP-SPC BAC’s identification of the specific brand name of materials also contravened Section 18 of RA 9184.

Fulgencio said his organization requested from Kasala the eligibility documents of AllCard that would show that the firm had the capability to undertake the ID project, but the BSP official allegedly refused.

For this reason, the complaint said, Kasala must also be held liable for violation of Executive Order 02, Series of 2016, the Freedom of Information order of President Duterte.

Topics: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas , National ID System , Ombudsman , Ricardo Fulgencio IV , Benjamin Diokno , Marianne Santos
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