By DEXTER YAP
The controversial mobile medical clinic to be purchased by the city government is tailor-fitted in all its specifications with Laboit Specialty Vehicles Inc., the manufacturer of the 35-footer medical unit which was alleged as overpriced by more than P21 million.
City Council majority floor leader Charlie Mariano said that in its purchase request, the general specifications being presented by the city government thru the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) as the end user is equally at par with the details and specs of the company, where the winning bidder has purchased the medical van.
Based on the documents acquired by Mariano from Laboit Company, comparatively all the 34 items in details about the general specifications of the aforementioned mobile medical clinic are similar in nature.
“It is very clear that the unit to be purchased by the city is the same with the unit manufactured by Laboit Company. The only difference is it was overpriced by the procuring entity,” Mariano said.
A well-equipped medical van can range from $175,000-$350,000, which is equivalent to P16,352,534.64, depending on options and features added. The amount even in its maximum denominations on a highly upgraded unit will still not reach the bidded price of P37,890,000.
Based on the quotation of the said company, all the details as stated in its cover letter after inquiry made by the city council, the medical price sheet specifications, details of medical brochures as well as the floor plan really indicate the exact details on the purchase order of the city government and in summary, the maximum amount of the unit is only estimated at P17 million.
“We may fool some people at one time, but we cannot fool everyone all the time, this anomaly is blatant and a clear manifestation of corruption, ta ruba con el pueblo cara-cara,” Mariano said.
Mariano said the clear overpricing on the said vehicle is a slap on their faces if approved, and this is the very reason why they, as responsible councilors will have to study the matter carefully in order for them not to be accountable to the people.
Mariano and his colleagues in the majority bloc at the council has called on the Commission on Audit (COA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the overpricing and are contemplating of filing a case of graft practices against the end user and all those people involved in this anomalous transaction after the election ban.
The alderman said that this issue is not politically-motivated as the local administration has claimed saying that the council members as an august body has just acted on their job vigorously and with vigilance safeguarding peoples best interest away from abuse and corruption.
City Hal is silent on the issue at the meantime, while the CDRRMO chief Dr. Elmeir Apolinario said that eventhough the authority to grant tax exemption sought by the mayor from the city council will not prosper, still it will not stop them from procuring the said state-of-the-art mobile medical clinic. – Dexter Yap