By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
In a bid to advance the administration’s campaign against corruption in government, Malacañang has directed all government agencies to submit their reports on funds transferred to the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) for “monitoring and evaluation” purposes.
Under Memorandum Circular (MC) no. 39, all heads of procuring entity (HOPE) of national government agencies (NGAs), government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCCs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and local government units (LGUs), are compelled to comply with Republic Act (RA) No. 9184 and its 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR).
The MC, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea last January 26, 2018, also compels all HOPE to submit the report on or before the end of the first quarter.
“All Heads of Procuring Entity (HOPE) of NGAs, GOCCs, SUCs, and LGUs are hereby required to comply with the provisions of RA No. 9184 (GPRA) and its 2016 RIRR, and to submit to the Office of the President, for monitoring and evaluation purposes, a report on funds transferred to DBM-PS for the purpose of procuring supplies, equipment and infrastructure projects as of 31 December 2017, to be submitted on or before 31 March 2018,” the MC read.
Section 10, Article V of RA No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA), provides that all procurement shall be done through competitive bidding, except as otherwise provide by GPRA.
Section 11, Article V RA 9184 mandates that each Procuring Entity shall establish a Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for its procurement.
Section 7.3.3 of the 2016 RIRR of RA 9184 provides that in order to hasten project implementation, Procuring Entities which may not have the proficiency or capability to undertake a procurement as determined by the HOPE may outsource the procurement tasks by requesting other government agencies to undertake the procurement for them through the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
The MOA must contain specific arrangements, stipulations, and covenants in accordance with government budgeting, accounting, and auditing laws, rules, and regulations.
According to Medialdea, it was observed that a number of government agencies are tapping the DBM-PS to undertake the procurement for them.
“It is observed that various government agencies are tapping the services of the DBM-PS to serve as the procurement agent for the procurement of supplies, equipment and infrastructure projects,” Medialdea said.
He also explained, citing Section 28 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution, that it is important that government agencies adopt and implement policy of public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.
The Palace official added that government agencies should be transparent and held accountable for their procurement.
“It is the policy of the State to promote good governance and to adhere to the principles of transparency, accountability, equity, efficiency, and economy in its procurement process,” Medialdea said.
President Duterte has promised and repeatedly vowed to fight and stop corruption in government by promoting transparency and accountability in government.
Duterte, in just a few days after becoming President, signed Executive Order No. 2 creating Freedom of Information (FOI), giving the public access to records of government agencies under the Executive Branch.
The President also expressed that he does not like the lowest bid form of procurement as this promotes corruption in government. He also warned government officials to not engage in corruption.
Recently, the Chief Executive welcomed the possible entry of Indian investors in the country, assuring them of their security but warned them against engaging in corruption or their application will “go to the wastebasket.”