Timely changes in procurement law pushed

BOKOD, Benguet September 11 – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to consider the introduction of amendments to Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Law to allow the government to achieve its proposed cash-based budgeting starting next year.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, who chairs the RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR, underscored one way by which the government can achieve the benefits of cash-based budgeting is to introduce changes to the procurement law, particularly in reducing the timetable for the tedious bidding process, so that the allocated funds for programmed projects could immediately be implemented and absorbed by the implementing agencies and local governments.

DBM-CR officer-in-charge Irene Gahid informed members of the RDC-CA and RPOC-CAR that starting 2019, the government will be implementing the programmed cash-based budgeting wherein there will be a one-year obligation of funds for programmed projects, and for projects that will be bidded out late in the year, implementing agencies and local governments will be given at least six months to use the funds for the desired programs and projects.

The DBM-CAR official claimed that for funded projects this year, the obligation-based budgeting will still be observed but starting next year, the cash-based budgeting will be in full force and effect wherein all government agencies and local governments are mandated to comply with the new mode of budgeting and spending the allocated funds under the annual budgets of agencies and local governments.

She urged concerned government agencies and local governments that have some issues and concerns to raise against the implementation of the government procurement law to submit their recommendations to their office which will in turn transmit the same to the government Procurement Board for consideration.

According to her, the implementing rules and regulations of the procurement law had been time and again revised in the past that is why whatever recommendations that the board will deem beneficial in improving the conduct of the bidding process will be adopted and placed as amendment to the present rules and regulations.

Domogan had time and again raised issues regarding the impracticality of having a longer duration in the conduct of the bidding process for government projects and goods and services because the quality of projects are often compromised as once the projects are awarded to the winning bidders, the prices of construction materials have escalated forcing contractors to seek for change orders or variations in their projects that result to unnecessary delays thereby depriving the public of good workmanship of projects.

He added that the previous bidding process under the old law seems to be more beneficial to both the government and the private sector because there is a shorter timeframe to bid and award the projects or delivery of goods and services to winning contractors or bidders.

By Dexter a. See

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