The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) made efforts to shift and adopt to the new normal as it conducted an online pre-bidding conference for the machinery grants under the Rice Competitiveness Enhance Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program last July 10 at PHilMech, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

“This pre-bid conference shall discuss and explain our procedures or instruction for bidding including the eligibility requirements, the technical and financial component of the contract of this bid,” explained Engr. Raul R. Paz, Bid and Award Committee (BAC) chairperson, during the opening of the conference.

The pre-bidding was done for the supply, delivery and testing of the Four-Wheel Drive Tractors and the Rice Combine Harvesters. The bids for the FWDT has 27 lots with an Approved Budget Contract (ABC) of Php 2,840,600,000 while the RCH is 26 lots with an ABC of Php 1,839,832,400.

Thirty-three bidders participated during the morning conference for the four-wheel tractor. Nine of them participated via zoom video conference. Meanwhile, 28 bidders attended the afternoon conference for rice combine harvesters; seven joined via zoom.

During the open forum, questions, concerns and clarifications of the suppliers were properly addressed by the BAC team including those who were present via zoom.

Engr. Paz believes that the new normal pre-bid conference was done successfully. It was able to manage online participation of some suppliers via zoom video conferencing while streaming it via Facebook live.

For those who were physically present, the management was also able to strictly implement safety protocols through proper screening and social distancing. Participants were required to present their health certificates upon entry to the PHilMech vicinity.

Article by Paolo Carl Soliven