Incumbent councilor and mayoral aspirant Peter "Jimbo" Maristela. (Photo from Kgd. Jimbo Maristela)

Puerto Princesa councilor and mayoralty bet Peter “Jimbo” Maristela has questioned the city government’s awarding of contracts to a single contractor.

Though he did not name any specific company, Maristela disclosed in a recent interview with Palawan News that a certain private firm has been gaining billions of pesos in government contracts and monopolizing city government projects.

“Natuklasan pa natin na sa pagkapanalo nila sa mga biddings, paano nanalo ito? Eh, sila lamang ang sole bidder. Parang imposible naman ‘yon, sa napakaraming mga bidding na isinagawa ng city government. Ibig sabihin talaga, may nangyayaring hindi maganda sa pagpapakontrata ng city government,” Maristela said.

“Mayroon kasing mga policy na kung sosobra ka na sa iyong net financial capacity, halimbawa ang contractor na ‘to ay sobra ang pinapalabas ng kinatawan ng Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), pasok pa sila. Para mapangalagaan natin ang interes ng ating city government, dapat hindi iisang contractor lamang ang pagbibigyan natin ng mga proyekto,” he added.

He claims that if he wins the mayoral election in May 2022, he will put an end to these types of deals by ensuring that companies do not become the city government’s exclusive contractor.

“Dapat malinis ang bidding, wala dapat kinikilingan, sapagka’t pera ‘yan ng taumbayan,” he added.

Maristela isn’t the only one who constantly criticizes a private corporation that works with the government. Other city councilors have recently chastised GSMAXX Construction for allegedly failing to complete their contracted projects with the city government on time and for allegedly lacking the necessary equipment to complete them.

According to Maristela, the company has secured P2-billion in projects with the city government through various biddings, including the construction of an isolation facility in Sitio Magarwak, Barangay Sta. Lourdes; a project in the New Public Market in Barangay San Jose; a medical complex; and the city’s smart streetlight projects.

Maristela added that he conducted his own investigations by asking the BAC for financial data on the company, but was barred from doing so because of “data privacy” issues.

“Humingi ako ng dokumento nila, ‘yong assets nila, sa BAC, hindi ako binigyan, kasi sakop daw ng privacy law, bawal daw silang magbigay ng mga dokumento sa kontratista na ‘yon,”

He added that should he be elected mayor, one of his priorities would be to carefully scrutinize participants in public biddings and ensure that it is done fairly.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.