Early bird gets biggest worm! Pernia grants P6.8M contract to Calida’s security agency a little over a month after being sworn in
Ernesto Pernia, socio economic secretary and director general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), hired the security agency of his colleague in the cabinet, Solicitor General Jose Calida, to guard the NEDA offices 40 days from taking their oath before President Duterte.
The NEDA issued a notice of award to Calida’s agency on Aug. 11, 2016, and the annual contract of P6.8M took effect on Sept. 13, 2016 after it was “signed, sealed and delivered” by Pernia for NEDA, and Milagros Calida, for Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc (VISAI), a corporation wholly owned by the Calida family where Milagros is president and chair.
The contract with NEDA entails security services for the NEDA buildings in Makati City and Pasig City. The agreement can be renewed every year for three years.
Calida and Pernia were among the first appointees of Presidente Duterte. Both have returned the favor with shown loyalty akin of a dog to his master, according to some Duterte critics.
Politiko earlier exposed the deal between Calida’s security agency with the National Parks Development Council (NPDC), an agency attached to the Department of Tourism. The NPDC contract covered 18 months for a total cost of P40M.
Aside from NPDC and NEDA, Calida’s agency also bagged the contract for the security services of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the Philippine Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and at the Department of Justice (DoJ).
A Politiko source also said VISAI has taken over as security provider at the House of Representatives for a still undisclosed amount.
Despite this, Calida has denied any conflict of interest. He said he resigned from VISAI as soon as Duterte named him SolGen in May, 2016.
Calida also denied any wrongdoing in allowing his family’s security agency to accept government contracts, maintaining that he had declared the family business in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN).