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19 April 2024

Banned firms under scrutiny

By Staff Writer

The Philippine Government said yesterday that three local companies blacklisted by the World Bank would face charges if investigations found they had won a road contract through corruption, according to agencies.

Meanwhile, the World Bank said on Thursday it had evidence of collusion among four Chinese and three Filipino construction companies in the bidding for a road project in the Philippines.

"The government is willing to charge those involved once it can be proven they engaged in irregularities," deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez told local radio.

The bank subsequently cancelled the tender for contracts worth a total of $33 million (Dh121.1m), and banned the firms from future tenders. "No Philippine Government agency was linked to the mess. Besides, this was based on the World Bank's own criteria," Golez said.

"The companies said there were flaws in the World Bank's investigation in terms of evidence and investigation procedures," Yao Jian, spokesman of China's commerce ministry, said in a statement.

The World Bank barred China Road and Bridge for eight years, China State Construction and China Wu Yi for six years, and China Geo-Engineering for five years.

Philippine firm EC de Luna Construction and its sole proprietor, Eduardo de Luna, were both barred indefinitely. The other Philippine firms, Philip-Cavite Ideal International Construction and Development and CM Pancho Construction, were each banned for four years.