New procurement law may be ready for signing by PBBM in May

By Jose Cielito Reganit

March 21, 2024, 10:35 pm

<p>House of Representatives <em>(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

House of Representatives (PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The proposed New Government Procurement Reform Law may be ready for signing by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in May.

Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. said he met with Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday to discuss the proposed new procurement law.

“Pinag-usapan po namin ni Senate President Migz na maipapasa by May. At siguro po, before SONA (the President’s State of the Nation Address in July), okay na po 'yung ating (bagong) Procurement Law, (I discussed with Senate President Migz that it will be passed by May. And hopefully, before the President’s SONA in July, we already have a New Procurement Law)” Gonzales said in a press conference at the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The proposed New Government Procurement Act, principally authored by Speaker Martin Romualdez and Gonzales, is one of the priority measures included in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

The House passed House Bill 9648 (HB) on Dec. 12 last year. The Senate opened second-reading deliberations on its version on Monday.

Gonzales noted that the enactment process for the proposed new law could be shortened further if the Senate would just adopt HB 9648, which seeks to repeal and replace Republic Act (RA) 9184, the present procurement statute.

“So, ang gusto ko po sana kung pupuwede, kaming dalawa ni (Budget) Secretary Mena (Amenah Pangandaman) at ni Speaker, gusto namin talaga mapabilis itong (My point is if it’s possible. I and Budget Secretary Pangandaman, and Speaker Romualdez want to hasten the passage of the) Procurement Act,” he said.

He said in the case of the judiciary, the Supreme Court has “pipeline projects all over the country,” like more courtrooms, but cannot be immediately bid out because RA 9184 has to be amended first.

Among the salient features of the new law is the reduction of the procurement process from 120 days to just 27 days, “starting from the advertisement up to the notice of award, notice to proceed, and signing of contract and (with) one publication only.”

The measure aims to adopt a “single electronic portal” known as the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) for all procurement activities -- from planning to implementation.

Another salient feature of the proposed new procurement law is the removal of the requirement for the post-qualification of bidders.

On Tuesday, Pangandaman said passing the New Procurement Act would be a “significant step” in promoting transparency and good governance and, at the same time, help government agencies utilize their budget efficiently.

“This is a significant step that will promote transparency, efficiency, and good governance, aligning with President Bongbong Marcos’ vision of Bagong Pilipinas (New Philippines),” Pangandaman said in a statement. (PNA)