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Miscellaneous

PBBM wants safeguards for online government procurements

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. wants the government to put up safeguards if it wants to implement an online procurement system.

“There will still be an element of accreditation because we cannot just open the market to anything…. (What if) you buy something, you get nothing. A box with nothing inside. ‘Yung ganoon,” President Marcos said during a sectoral meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“So, to safeguard against that, kailangan accredited ‘yung kausap natin,” the President stressed.

The President also warned about overpricing, which will be disadvantageous to those buying products and equipment through the digital platform.

Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) told the President that it is difficult to calculate product pricing because if goods are quite heterogenous, not homogeneous, the price differences could also reflect quality differences.

“We know that… goods that might be overpriced. There are already some exploitation of market power by preventing competitors from coming in,” he said.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced on Tuesday that the Procurement Service – Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) will pilot an e-Marketplace under Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) for government procurement of motor vehicles.

PhilGEPS is the electronic commerce service owned and operated by the PS-DBM, serving as the central portal for all procurement information and activities of the government.

The budget department presented to the President during the Cabinet sectoral meeting in Malacañang the proposed amendments to Republic Act No. 9184, or the “Government Procurement Reform Act.”

The GPRA was envisioned to address the lack of transparency and competition, eliminate collusion and political interference, and lessen delays in the procurement process.

With the rapid transformation in technology over the past two decades and with onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, the public relied heavily on digital transactions, compelling authorities to consider making government procurement more attuned to the changing times. | PND

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