Letter to the Editor: Noodles purchased due to pandemic; expired ones replaced

·2 min read

THIS is to set the record straight in regard to the news report that appeared today in your paper written by Justin K. Vestil entitled “COA scores Capitol officials for cost of instant noodles.”

At the outset, we find the title inaccurate as it does reveal all the details pertinent to the transaction.

The purchase of Lucky Me noodles with a total cost of P3,447,360 instead of the Quickchow noodles originally procured totaling P2,857,680 was an emergency purchase during the height of the pandemic that were delivered to beneficiaries from the fourth and fifth class local government units that needed immediate assistance.

The urgent need for noodles constrained the Provincial Government of Cebu (PGC) to purchase Lucky Me noodles at a time when Cebuanos were greatly affected by the pandemic.

Consequently, the initial order of Quickchow noodles from Metro Retails Stores Group Inc. (MRSI) was cancelled because it could not make good with its commitment to deliver the requirement of the PGC. A canvass was made for Quickchow noodles from other suppliers but they informed the PGC that they could also not meet its requirements for Quickchow noodles.

Just the same, the procurement of the Lucky Me noodles went through the procurement process that merited its award to MRSI that posted the lowest price, well within the ceiling set by the Department of Trade and Industry at that time.

It is erroneous to state that there was an “Amendment to Order” that bypassed the governor because it was signed by the Provincial Administrator. An “Amendment to Order” and a “Purchase Order” are two very different documents.

One amends the initial order of the Province while the other indicates the items to be purchased that is used as a guide by the supplier. What was signed by the Provincial Administrator was only a Purchase Order.

The expired Quickchow noodles have already been long replaced and delivered to the Provincial Government last October 19, 2020. These replacements were also delivered to the beneficiary local government units.

On a final note, the PGC was given an Unmodified Opinion of the Provincial Government’s financial statements by the Commission on Audit which is an indicator of the current administration’s good governance.

We trust this clarifies.

Atty. Frank Eduard C. Dinsay V

Chief of Staff

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