Requesting Entity: NIA Employees Association of the Philippines
Issues Concern: Grant of Honoraria to Observers
Clarification on whether the observers participating in public biddings are entitled to any remuneration/benefit.
Observers are invited in all stages of the procurement process in order to enhance transparency therein, with the general responsibility of checking if each stage of the procurement process was conducted in accordance with the provisions of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A.
It is imperative, then, for observers to maintain independence from any influence the body it monitors may assert so that the integrity of its observations will not be compromised or tainted with bias. To ensure this independence, we are of the opinion that observers should not be granted honoraria by the procuring entity for its participation in the procurement process.
This view is strengthened by Section 15 of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A which categorically provides that payment of honoraria may be granted to the members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), BAC Secretariat, and Technical Working Group. It will be noticed that in the enumeration of persons who may be granted payment of honoraria, observers are not included. Thus, this silence by R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A may be construed to mean that the law meant to exclude observers from the payment of honoraria. (See NPM 003-2005, dated 13 January 2005)