Requesting Entity: Philippine National Oil Company-Energy Development Corporation
Issues Concern: Hiring of Services for Livelihood-Generating Projects in the Watershed Areas Administered and Maintained by the PNOC-EDC
Whether or not the PNOC-EDC may directly award the services/labor component of the livelihood-generating projects to the residents in the watershed areas administered and maintained by the said government agency as direct beneficiaries of such project.
It is observed that the aforesaid hiring of services of the said local residents may not be strictly construed as government procurement under R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A considering that the idea of competitive bidding would essentially be difficult to apply in a case where projects are generated, specifically, to provide jobs to selected beneficiaries, pursuant to existing programs and policies implemented by the government.
It is worthy to consider that the geothermal and watershed management projects of the PNOC-EDC are in consonance with the policy of the government to adopt the “Community-Based Forest Management” as the national strategy in all forest conservation and development activities under Executive Order Nos. 263 and 318, issued by their Excellencies, then President Fidel V. Ramos and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, respectively.
Moreover, the idea of embracing a community-based approach in terms of forest management is in line with the government’s thrust to obtain the full and indispensable participation of communities as immediate stakeholders of the forest land resources in the protection and management of the forest ecosystems.
With the foregoing elucidations, the GPPB is of the opinion that in generating labor-intensive watershed and community projects for the residents of the host communities in these geothermal reservations, the requirements for workers are not subject to the provisions of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A.
The GPPB opines, however, that the procurement of the material component of the aforecited livelihood projects should be undertaken through public bidding in accordance with R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A.