Requesting Entity: Philippine Health Insurance Corporation
Issues Concern: Acquisition of Publishing Services
Whether or not acquiring the services of a publisher which shall print, reproduce, and distribute PhilHealth authored books is covered by the provisions of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A when no public money will be spent for its acquisition.
While it may be true that initially, no public funds shall be released by your agency in the selection of the publisher and that publication shall be assumed by the latter, it cannot be denied that the same still involves acquisitiono f services for the government. Likewise, in the event that PhilHealth will need additional copies of said publication, it is clear that your office has no choice but to purchase said copies, although at a discounted price, directly from your chosen publisher. This is where the rules governing procurement significantly affects the purported transaction.
Based on your representations, your good agency will be providing a chosen publisher a business proposition where it is quite clear that its clientele will still be PhilHealth. We view this ultimately as PhilHealth's acquisition of the services of a publisher, which would necessitate a transparent and competitive selection among a number of prospective publishers, following the provisions of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A.
On the basis of the foregoing, we find the procedure in the procurement of goods the appropriate method in the acquisition of publishing services.
To add, the perceived features of the chosen publisher, among others, the wide network of bookstores in the Philippines and abroad, expertise in the industry, capability and resources to manage the sale, inventory, storage and delivery of publications and the willingness to publish the PhilHealth materials at its own risk, may be included in the specifications of the publisher in the bidding documents.