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MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos clarified that the purchase of 18 pre-owned motorcycles used during the Papal Visit and APEC meetings two years ago were all regular and necessary.
“We should remember that funds for the purchase of new motorcycles were released by the DBM on January 12, 2015, only 3 days before the arrival of Pope Francis on January 15, 2015, the previous MMDA administration salvaged what could have been a national embarassment, purchasing second-hand motorcycles which is allowed by National Budget Circular 446-A and various Government Procurement Policy Board Resolutions,” Orbos said in a radio interview.
According to former MMDA Assistant Manager Edenison Fainsan, “there were no available stocks of big police motor bikes to fit the needs of the Papal Visit and APEC meetings. Even today, you cannot purchase from motorcycle dealers brand new police bike models as they have to secure it from Japan and the process will take months including ocean shipment!”
According to legal observers, the term “emergency” confronted by the MMDA due to the late release of funds by the DBM is defined in COA Circular No. 85-55A as “an activity which cannot be delayed causing detriment to the public service.”
GM Orbos further stressed that not a single government centavo was used to purchase the big motorcycles as some were even donated by former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, himself a motorcycle enthusiast.
“We should note that big motorcycles with 400cc and above engine displacements are used only during weekends by private owners and are treated like sports cars used by hobbyists and are well-maintained even if they are older models. They are also registered all over the Philippines because of the presence of big motorcycle clubs in various regions of the country and there is no existing second hand dealer stores of big motorcycles unlike cars,” added Fainsan.