Press Release
February 7, 2009

Contractors blacklisted by international agencies face ban from local projects

Construction firms that have been blacklisted by international funding agencies for corrupt practices face permanent ban from participating in infrastructure projects of the government if a proposal of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) is enacted into law.

Pimentel presented the proposal in the wake of revelations in congressional hearings that contractors that have been debarred by the World Bank from its road projects due to collusive and fraudulent practices are still being allowed by the government not only to continue public works projects already awarded to them but also to bid for new projects.

"The corrupt incidents should not be allowed to recur in any manner or form so that we do not perpetuate corruption in the country," he said,

Senate Bill No. 3036 filed by Pimentel prohibits corporations, construction firms, partnerships, associations, legal entities or individuals officially banned by international funding agencies like the World Bank for engaging in bribery, corruption or rigging of public biddings or any act that taints those transactions from participating in any public bidding for constructions contracts or agreements of any kind with the government.

The bill also provides that existing contracts of these erring contractors with the government, that are officially declared by international funding agencies to be impaired by anomalies, irregularities or corruption of any kind, shall be rescinded by the government.

It provides that in case of violations by the construction firms, the president, chief executive officer, manager, administrator, directors or any officer in charge of the management and administration of the business shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than six years and one day, but not more than l0 years and a fine of not less than Pl million but not more than P5 million at the discretion of the court. Likewise, they shall be held civilly and criminally liable under other applicable laws.

In the case of government officials are found to have violated the provisions of this Act, they shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than six years and one day, but not more than l2 years and a fine of not less than P500,000 nor more than P2 million at the discretion of the court.

In addition, the public officers involved shall also suffer the penalty of perpetual and absolute disqualification from public office. This is without prejudice to other civil, criminal and administrative cases that may be filed against the public officers concerned.

"The government must be vigilant in defending the integrity and reliability of public transactions and should hold wrongdoers accountable under the law," Pimentel stressed.

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