Senate ratifies bill amending government procurement reform law

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has ratified a bill amending the government procurement reform law, one of the priority measures of the Marcos administration.

Sen. Sonny Angara thanked his colleagues for their help in ratifying yesterday the bicameral conference report for the New Government Procurement Act (NGPA), his last official achievement as finance committee chair. Angara relinquished his post following Juan Miguel Zubiri’s ouster as Senate president.

The ratification of the measure brings it a step closer to enactment.

“The NGPA was a product of months of consultations with all the stakeholders, particularly the executive branch, to come up with a law that will ultimately end up saving money for the government and result in the delivery of better services for our people,” Angara said.

He said there was a need to fine-tune the 21-year-old procurement law or Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) because of corruption in government transactions.

“Over time, scheming minds were still able to exploit the GPRA. It is high time that we clamp down on these illegal practices by eliminating the opportunities for corruption. This is what the NGPA intends to achieve,” Angara said.

According to the measure, all government procurement should include proper market scoping, supply positioning, analysis of available procurement modalities and risk management.

The bill also introduces new modes of procurement to give leeway to procuring entities: competitive dialogue, unsolicited offer with bid matching, direct acquisition, direct sales (pasa-buy) and direct procurement for science, technology and innovation.

It also introduces the “Most Economically Advantageous Responsive Bid” which incorporates a pre-determined quality of the goods to be procured as part of the criteria for selecting the winning bid.

“This is the answer to observations that the quality of procured goods is sacrificed in the lowest bid. Government may have saved money, but it gets cheap and low quality products,” Angara said in Filipino.

The NGPA also shortens the period of action on procurement activities from 90 days to 60 days, from the opening of bids to the awarding of contract.

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