PH seeks to modify procurement law after poor GDP showing | Inquirer Business

PH seeks to modify procurement law after poor GDP showing

MANILA  -The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has drawn up proposed amendments to the 20-year-old Government Procurement Reform law to address slow government spending, which was partly blamed for the weaker-than-forecast growth of the Philippine economy in the second quarter.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said the proposed amendments, which have already been presented to President Marcos, revolved around the simplification of the eligibility process for the bidding of contracts as well as the development of an “eMarketplace” to speed up the procurement process.

If approved by Congress, the amendments would allow the Procurement Service of the DBM (PS-DBM) to choose the supplier not according to the “lowest calculated” bid but whether his or her proposal is the “most economically advantageous” to the country.


PS-DBM executive director Dennis Santiago said they were pushing for the adoption of an alternative criterion to the “lowest calculated and responsive bid” since it does not fully satisfy the needs of the agency, which buys supplies or services for the government.


He added this current measurement was “purely quantitative” and missed out on important factors that could benefit the buyer-agency, such as quality considerations.

“We always go for the lowest [price], but sometimes, the quality is poor,” Santiago said. “So we’re looking at an area wherein we can improve the evaluation methodology. We now call it the ‘Most Economically Advantageous Bid’ or the MEAB.”

Fewer lawsuits from losers

The government also seeks to “prohibit the issuance of a temporary restraining order or preliminary mandatory injunction, except by the Supreme Court, against the government” in the procurement of goods and services.

This proposal is meant to prevent the possible delays in the procurement process because of suits filed by losing bidders.

Pangandaman earlier said that domestic output would have grown by 5.3 percent had at least P65 billion of the P170 billion funds available were disbursed during the second quarter.

Philippine gross domestic product grew by only 4.3 percent in the April-June quarter, much lower than the widely expected 6 percent.


“Government spending is very important, so it is important that agencies use the available budget and resources allocated to them,” Pangandaman said.

She said that they would come up with specific procurement law amendments for every provision in two weeks.

The proposed tweaks also relate to innovative procurement methods, efficiency in the procurement process, procurement planning and budgeting, digitalization and innovation, sustainable and green procurement, and miscellaneous provisions, she added.

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Pangandaman also said the DBM was conducting a review of the various areas of the budget execution phase for the fiscal year 2024 in order to address the low spending rate of agencies.

TAGS: GDP, Philippine economy, procurement

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