Requesting Entity: Philippine Educational Publishers’ Association
Issues Concern: Request for Clarification on Section 7.3 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations Part A (IRR-A) of Republic Act 9184 (R.A. 9184)
Whether or not Section 7.3 of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 contravenes the provisions of R.A. 8293 and R.A. 8047.
The last sentence of the above-quoted provision (Section 7.3, IRR-A) provides for the manner by which a contract for the procurement of textbooks for general use may be divided, i.e., (a) contract package for the development of the manuscript; and (b) contract package for the printing of the textbooks. A careful reading of this provision will clearly lead to the conclusion that it merely pertains to the manner the PPMP and the APP presents a contract for procurement of textbooks for general use in the APP and the PPMP. Once presented in the APP, the procuring entity may then bid out a contract for the development of the manuscript of textbooks for general use. The contract for the printing of the textbooks, now a separate component, is bid out thereafter.
The Department of Education (DepEd) is still confined to the functions provided under R.A. 8047, i.e., preparation of the minimum learning competencies, testing, evaluation, selection and approval of the manuscripts. By way of analogy, these functions may be said to be exercised by DepEd in bidding for the development of the manuscripts. The minimum learning competencies are the technical specifications provided for in the bidding documents as well as the testing and evaluation. The bidding itself is the process of selection and the award of the contract for the development of the manuscript may be equated to approval. The rights of authors and publishers as provided under R.A. 8293 are not encroached upon because Section 7.3 of the IRR-A does not allow or authorize procuring entities to interfere or participate in the development of a manuscript. It only provides procuring entities with the obligation to divide the contract for the procurement of textbooks for general use into two components and bid them out separately.