By Genalyn Kabiling
Defense contracts must now pass through regular government procurement laws, instead of just a special bids and awards committee.
In a new presidential directive, President Duterte revoked an Arroyo-era Executive Order that established a single committee conducting public biddings for defense transactions due to the “unnecessary delays” in the procurement.
“It has been observed that the implementation of EO No. 235 resulted in bureaucratic impediments and unnecessary delays in the procurement of important defense projects,” President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 18 read.
“EO No. 235 (s. 2003) is hereby repealed. All other orders, rules, regulations and issuances, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with this Order, are likewise hereby repealed or amended accordingly,” it added.
The old EO, issued by then President Gloria Arroyo, limited the authority of the Secretary of National Defense to delegate approvals of procurement contracts and established a single Bids and Awards Committee to undertake public biddings for the military.
Under the new EO, Duterte has directed the Secretary of Defense “to identify and institutionalize measures that will effectively monitor the operations of separate Bids and Awards Committees.” Such committees may be created to promote transparency, impartiality and accountability in procurement transactions, the President said.
All defense procurement contracts, including those presently being processed and/or reviewed, shall also now be reviewed and processed in accordance with Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003.
In RA 9184, it is a policy of the State to promote the ideals of good governance with a view to transparency, competitiveness, streamlining, accountability and public monitoring in the procurement process of government contracts.
The order, issued last April 7, takes effect upon publication in two newspapers.