MANILA — The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed its earlier ruling which prevented the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) from awarding the multi-million contract for advertising concessions for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 to its highest bidder.
In a three-page resolution dated June 30 penned by Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando, the CA’s Eight Division denied the motions for reconsideration filed by advertising firm R.S. Concepts Inc. (RSCI) and the MIAA board of directors and its awards committee for the advertising concession of its decision issued on June 14, 2016.
In the said ruling, the CA nullified the award of the contract by the MIAA to R.S. Concepts for failing to submit its tax clearance at the prescribed time despite having the the highest proposed lease rate of PHP126.88 million.
“We held in our decision that RSCI was not qualified to bid in the concession, disqualified as it was by its faiure to submit a compliant provisionary tax clearance. This was a basic requirement for qualification in accordance with the Terms of Reference for the concession.
It noted that the MIAA Awards Committee had disqualified RSCI for the said reason but it was overlooked by the MIAA board.
With the nullification of the award of contract to RSCI, the CA said the contract should be given to Digichive Philippines Corporation (DPC).
“The nullification of both the bid and award of the advertising concession to RSCI is thus beyond cavil. By such nullification, it necessarily ensues that the award should be conferred upon DPC which has, in all respects, established that it was the qualified bidder all along. As it was then, the grave abuse of discretion that arose from the erroneous award to RSCI was palpable,” it said in a ruling. Digichive, the original lessee for advertising spaces at NAIA Terminal 2, also bidded for the project in the amount of PHP101.59 million.
It pointed out that the MIAA Awards Committee initially gave RSCI an extension of one month from the bid opening on Aug. 13, 2012 to submit its tax clearance but failed to do so.
RSCI was given the final extension of until September 2012, otherwise it will be disqualified.
However, RSCI was not automatically disqualified but again given another chance to submit its tax clearance until Oct. 6, 2012, but it still failed to meet the deadline.
This prompted the MIAA Awards Committee to disqualify the latter for violation of bidding rules.
Thus, on Nov. 14, 2012, the MIAA Awards Committee came out with a resolution awarding the advertising concession to Digichive.
However, Digichive said it was surprised when the MIAA awarded the concession to RSCI after the latter furnished the MIAA copies of its tax clearance issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Because of this turn of events, Digichive said it was forced to seek relief from the court.