Gov’t saved P6B in truck deal–supplier
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon may have been misled on the alleged undervaluation of 469 fire trucks worth P2.57 billion from China because the government was able to save P6 billion from the transaction.
The joint venture of Kolonwel Trading and Hubei Jiangnan Special Automobile Co. Ltd., the supplier of the fire trucks, told the Inquirer it would in fact file for reimbursement of the P217 million in total taxes and duties it paid through the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
Lawyer Mark Andrew Santiago, counsel for the joint venture, said the petition for reimbursement with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), through the BFP as the consignee and implementing agency, was based on Joint Circular No. 1 of the Department of Budget and Management and Department of Finance dated April 30, 2014.
The circular provides a procedure for the government agency to avail itself of the tax exemption.
The joint venture complained that it was not treated fairly by the previous administration when its importation was not granted the tax exemption to which it was entitled under the law.
Based on BFP procurements of 1,000-gallon capacity fire trucks and 500-gallon capacity fire trucks from various suppliers from 2008 to 2016, the joint venture said in a statement that the price it submitted was the most advantageous to the government, which was why it won the contract through a public bidding in the first place.
A price comparison showed that a 1,000-gallon fire truck from Philippine-based manufacturer Anos Research Manufacturing, for example, costs P4 million more than what the joint venture offered.
It said the joint venture’s price for each of the 244 1000-gallon trucks (Power Take-off) was only P5,975,000, and P4,975,000 for each of the 500-gallon trucks (Power Take-off), won through public bidding.
Santiago said the joint venture suspected the losing bidders badmouthed them because it lost out in a lucrative graft practice.
“There was a conspiracy from among the losing bidders to discredit Kolonwei-Hubei because it offered fire trucks at a cheap price when compared to Rosenbauer, Firewolf, Osthcos USA, but with more vital features,” it said in a statement.
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