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PBBM supports amendments to Government Procurement Reform Act to ensure efficient use of public funds, address underspending

GPRA ammendment

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has expressed his support for the amendments of some provisions of the 2003 Government Procurement Reform Act, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said on Tuesday.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Pangandaman said that the proposed amendment would address underspending in government offices, which contributed to the slow GDP growth of the country in the second quarter of the year.

“If we will look at the data for the first (semester) of this year, mayroon po tayong negative na 170.5 billion pesos po. Meaning, the national government agencies po was not able to disburse 170 billion pesos po of available funds kaya po bumaba po iyong ating—iyong contribution po ng government spending to our GDP was reduced,” she said.

To address this issue, the DBM has issued a circular directing agencies to provide catch-up plans for their respective project implementations, in addition to the proposed amendments to the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) that were presented to the President during a sectoral meeting.

Pangandaman said that President Marcos supported their proposed procurement revisions and recognized the need to modernize procurement processes in keeping with the changing times and technology advancements.

“There has already been rapid transformation in technology over the past two decades – and the pandemic propelled the urgency for digital transactions in the country. That’s why our President is correct – that we need to make government procurement more attuned to our changing times,” she said.

Pangandaman said that they are hoping that Congress will support the necessary and tedious process of updating the government procurement processes, which usually affect 25 percent of the government’s annual budget.

Among agencies with the lowest obligation rates include the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Energy (DOE).

Pangandaman said that the reforms will cover innovative procurement methods; efficient procurement; proper planning; digitalization; “Green” procurement; and, other miscellaneous provisions.

She added that they will come out with their consolidated proposed amendments in the next two weeks. The said document will also be presented to lawmakers.

“Isusulat lang po namin nang maayos ito in a form of amendment doon sa mga provisions, sa mga existing provisions, and then we will sit down with the House and Senate counterparts po,” Pangandaman said. | PND

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