LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST
Deputy Exec. Dir. Emiluisa C. Peñano
Everybody was eagerly looking forward to a climactic culmination to this month long Draft IRR consultation. Serendipitously, this took place in the City of Bloom, Davao City, at Marco Polo Hotel last 19-21 February, where the 11th and final consultation with the LGUs from Western Mindanao and the Visayas was held.
Emotions ran high and excitement overflowed with the issues raised during the open forum, and, in the ensuing break-out sessions. As the saying goes, this may be the last consultation, but, definitely, not the least. To prove this point, following are some of the salient concerns and recommendations of the LGU practitioners coming from Regions 10, 11, 12 and 13.
- In view of numerous activities being undertaken by the LGUs, there is a need to create separate BAC Secretariats;
- Another instance of negotiated procurement should be provided for "unplanned activities" (e.g. in cases of unannounced visitors of the LCE) and/or define more clearly what instances fall under "when time is of the essence";
- Transferring most of the eligibility documents to prior to issuance of Notice of Award would unduly cause delay, hence, status quo should be maintained;
- The proposed 30 day period for submission of transferred eligibility documents is too long, won't help streamline the process;
- Other provisions of R.A. 7160 (Local Government Code) which are applicable and practical for LGUs should be applied;
- LGUs' perennial difficulty in procuring their fuel/gasoline/oil requirements thru public bidding;
- Conflicting interpretations on the LCE's and the Sanggunian's specific roles in approving and signing procurement contracts;
- Need for extended assistance and indemnification to BAC, TWG and Secretariat to cover not just actual cases being filed, but also those involving malicious, brutal and unscrupulous texters and media;
- LGUs' preference to procure second hand equipment in view of limited budget;
- Possibility of reducing the 12 days to 6 days for the pre-bid conference;
- Most of the LGUs have very limited budget, so, increasing the P50,000 threshold could create, a scenario where there will no longer be any public bidding conducted, and, more opportunity for abuse;
- Problems arising from differences in the budgeting/cash flow system of DPWH and what is prescribed by DBM and practised by the LGUs;
- Difficulty in complying with posting requirements for small value procurement;
- Not all municipalities/localities have access to internet;
- Urgent/dire need for training on the procurement law and its IRR/PBDs by the procurement officials, especially the HOPE; and
- Provide incentives/honoraria to Observers; and include the BAC Secretariat, as well.
Lastly, we extend our deepest appreciation to Director Achilles "Ike" Bravo for the inspiring welcome remarks that set the tone for the fruitful consultation; and to Mr. Tess Garcia, Consultant for the E3 Project of CIDA, for her challenging closing remarks.
With the consultations over, the hard part now has to be hurdled: So, let’s all work together towards the timely finalization and approval of the Draft IRR!