CHECK AND BALANCE
Jeff Sarmiento, Legal and Policy Group
The Consultation on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9184 held at Discovery Suites on February 3 and 4, 2008 was attended by 86 participants who are bid practitioners from the Local Government Units of Central and Southern Luzon. They reported that the procurement process is still far from the ideal of being insulated from political intervention.
To address such problem, they suggested including a mandatory training on procurement law to all concerned, especially the Local Chief Executives (LCEs). Their experience shows that the LCEs, if uninformed of the procurement rules, tend to exert undue pressure on their subordinates in the Bids and Awards Committee, unaware that they are already circumventing the law. The bid practitioners, on the other hand, when not being properly equipped with knowledge on the rules and procedures, easily succumb to those pressures.
This is just one of the remarkable suggestions made during the Consultation. Many other issues were discussed and many proposals were considered to address them. Among the proposals are the following:
- There should be a simplified procurement manual for the Barangay level;
- The public must be educated with regard to government procurement. Primers on procurement law should be disseminated so that the public would be more vigilant against corrupt practices in government procurement;
- Harmonize the resolutions, interpretations, opinions, administrative orders and circulars by different government agencies with regard to procurement rules and procedures;
- Conduct hands-on training on the use of PhilGEPS;
- In shopping, increase the threshold from P50,000 to P1,000,000.
- The Local Chief Executive should not be the one to appoint the members of the BAC;
- Reference to brand names should be allowed;
- Allow LGUs to purchase supplies from sources other than the Procurement Service when it is more convenient.
- BAC should be made an organic office dedicated to BAC functions only; and
- Reduce to from 30 days to 7 days the period in which to submit other eligibility document prior to award.
GPPB would like to thank the participants for their invaluable contribution in the drafting of the IRR and the World Bank for supporting our cause.