Requesting Entity: National Food Authority
Issues Concern: Negotiations Pursuant to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Agriculture (WTO-AoA)
1. Whether the AoA executed pursuant to the WTO of which the Philippine government is a signatory is considered an executive/international agreement, hence, may fall within the purview of an executive agreement which must be observed under Sec. 4 of R.A. 9184 and Sec. 4.2 of the IRR-A.
Whether the Agreement on Agriculture executed pursuant to the WTO – or any agreement of which the Philippine government is signatory -- is an international agreement or otherwise, is a question beyond the ambit of the authority of the Government Procurement Board (GPPB) to pass upon. The GPPB is an administrative agency entrusted with the task of effectuating the intent of the Government Procurement Reform Act; and as a matter of administrative practice, it renders opinion only on matters involving procurement and gives contemporaneous construction only of the statute and the legislative policy which it is mandated to implement.
2. Whether negotiated procurement as an alternative mode of procurement can be utilized if said agreement is considered an executive agreement or a government-to-government transaction.
It bears stressing at this juncture that there is no prohibition for the use of appropriate alternative methods of procurement in the intended importation activity by NFA. In fact, in as much as during negotiations the government stands at least in equal plane with counterpart government, it may negotiate that the terms and conditions of the agreement refer the rules and guidelines anent procurement matters to the provisions of R.A. 9184. While this is not a matter of direction of the law but in harmony with it, to effectuate the policies and principles behind its enactment, the government or its agencies must exert utmost effort to advance the essence of the procurement law on our side.