In an inspirational article published by GovInsider on 16 December 2021, Executive Director (ED) Rowena Candice M. Ruiz, Head of the Government Procurement Policy Board – Technical Support Office (GPPB – TSO), was recognized as one of the women across the world in GovTech 2021.

GovTech 2021 boasts various women across the world who have “tirelessly tested out new technology and approaches to make public services simpler and more accessible”.

“I always advocate for evidence-based policy making in the public sector. Policies should not be based on the loudest voice in the room but instead, be data driven. Policymakers ought to shape the world on the basis of what has happened, is happening and may happen, all from a circumspect and strategic use of data and technology. Data analytics works not only downstream to empower the public, but more so upstream to support an enabling environment” ED Ruiz shared with GovInsider.

Together with the unrelenting efforts and extraordinary services provided by her GPPB-TSO team, fueled by the public’s trust and support, the Chevening Scholar rallied for a responsive, innovative, agile, and sustainable Philippine Public Procurement System since she was thrust at the helm of the GPPB-TSO in October 2018.

Among the many procurement reforms and initiatives led by ED Ruiz include the use of videoconferencing, webcasting, and other similar technologies (year 2018), use of digital signature in procurement reports (year 2019), GPPB – TSO Procurement Dashboard (year 2019), Interim Review of Procurement Performance (year 2020), GPPB Online Portal (year 2020), shift to online learning (year 2020), electronic submissions and receipt of bids (year 2020), simplified Philippine Bidding Documents (year 2020), and the GPPB – TSO Online Philippine Bidding Documents Builder (year 2021).

As a Woman in GovTech 2021, ED Ruiz was asked to share the most impactful project she worked on the year. “Overall, I think ensuring business continuity amidst the pandemic enabled Procuring Entities (PEs) to bounce back from last year [year 2020]” she responded. In terms of actual projects, she made mention of the GPPB – TSO Online Philippine Bidding Documents Builder as “this allowed for time savings and minimized errors and overlaps” and the Guidelines on the use of Community Participation making “procurement more inclusive by mainstreaming the participation of local communities in the government bidding process, including the institutionalization of direct purchase by PEs from local farmers and fisherfolks.”

ED Ruiz further shared that curating thought leaders within the GPPB – TSO through the implementation of various mentoring and coaching programs was also one of the impactful accomplishments she achieved as of the year 2021.

But of course, GPPB – TSO milestones do not stop in the year 2021. For the year 2022, PEs are in for a treat as the agency is focused on the initial phase of its automation project [procurement forms] and enhancement of the use of data analytics in procurement monitoring, alongside magnifying the Philippine Green Public Procurement as “these will lay the groundwork and open further opportunities for the Philippines to innovate, adapt and transform our public procurement system.” ED Ruiz emphasized.

Want to know more about ED Ruiz and GPPB – TSO procurement reforms and initiatives? Read the full inspirational article here:

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