Gov’t purchase of COVID-19 goods, services without public bidding allowed after Bayanihan 2 expires
MANILA, Philippines—Even as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act lapses on Saturday (Dec. 19), government agencies can still fast-track purchases of goods and services for COVID-19 response through negotiated procurement without public bidding.
In a Dec. 15 memorandum, Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) Executive Director Rowena Candice M. Ruiz said procuring agencies still have until Dec. 19 to issue notices of award for their purchases under Bayanihan 2.
These included supply deals with local firms under the domestic preference policy for COVID-19-related goods under Bayanihan 2.
After Dec. 19, Ruiz said agencies are allowed to purchase items for COVID-19 response under the Government Procurement Reform Act, or Republic Act No. 9184, but “taking into consideration” the expiry or validity of their funds “under respective budget laws.”
As the country remained under a prolonged state of public health emergency due to the pandemic, agencies may also resort to negotiated procurement in lieu of public bidding to quickly buy their supplies to fight COVID-19.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier extended the effectivity of his declaration of a national state of calamity for the COVID-19 crisis.
Emergency procurement had been allowed to expedite purchase of essential goods as the government scrambled to buy medical equipment, medicines and personal protective equipment (PPEs) at the start of the longest and most stringent COVID-19 lockdown in the region.
“Emergency procurement covers goods, civil works projects, and consulting services,” said Ruiz’s memo.
It also covered “lease of real property or venue such as those for use as quarantine centers, evacuation sites, medical relief, and aid distribution locations, warehousing facilities, or similar temporary disaster or emergency response facility are included as well,” the memo said.
It said it was up to the “procuring entity” to determine if there was a need to set aside public bidding in favor of negotiated purchases.
Agencies in a rush to purchase goods or services for COVID-19 response could also resort to “any of the alternative methods of procurement” available under the law, or RA No. 9184.
The procuring entity, the memo said, shall be “responsible for the procurement planning, which includes identification of goods and services.”
Edited by TSB
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