Open public works bidding to foreigners — Gatchalian

September 14, 2019

SENATOR Win Gatchalian wants to encourage greater competition in locally-funded government public works projects by amending restrictions in the country’s 78-year-old law.

Gatchalian, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, recently filed Senate Bill No. 1009 (SBN 1009) to amend the already antiquated Commonwealth Act No. 541 (CA 541) or “An Act to Regulate the Awarding of Contracts for Construction or Repair of Public Works.”

The senator said amending CA 541 has long been overdue and very much needed at this time given the government’s current thrust in infrastructure development via the Build, Build, Build Program.

“For seventy-eight years, such domestic preference policy has confined competition in the construction industry within our territorial boundaries and has discriminated in favor of domestic businesses with substantial market power and political influence,” Gatchalian stressed.

“In this light, this bill seeks to provide a more level playing field and extend equal opportunities to eligible and qualified domestic and foreign bidders to participate in the bidding by the government for public works projects,” he said.

SBN 1009, in a nutshell, fine- unes the decades old law to ease restrictions that prohibits foreign contractors from bidding for locally funded public works projects.