MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest executive order makes it easier for government to use alternative methods of procurement instead of public bidding for government contracts.
Executive Order No 34, signed on Monday, July 17, orders that government agencies no longer have to seek an exemption from the conduct of public bidding from the Government Procurement Policy Board if their heads think conditions are present to use alternative methods of procurement.
EO 34 amends EO No 423, signed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2005, that outlines rules on the approval of government contracts.
EO 34 states that if the head of the procuring agency “has made a determination” that a government contract “falls under any of the exceptions from public bidding,” they may “proceed with the alternative methods of procurement according to the law and applicable rules and regulations.”
Such alternative methods, as listed in Republic Act No 9184, include limited source bidding, direct contracting, shopping, repeat order, and negotiated procurement. They may be used for emergency cases when the goods or services to be procured are urgently needed or when the goods or services to be procured are highly specialized and can only be obtained from limited sources.
This provision also covers contracts required by law to be acted upon or approved by the President.
For contracts involving an amount of at least P500 million, the head of the procuring agency must issue a “certification under oath that the contract falls within the exceptions from public bidding,” is complaint with all laws and regulations, and is advantageous to the government.
In issuing EO 34, Duterte said requiring agencies to seek an exemption from public bidding from the GPPB “adds to the total procurement process and timeline, and defeats the very purpose of resorting to alternative methods of procurement.”
EO 34 also states that government contracts requiring the President’s approval should be submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority for review 7 days after they are approved by the head of the procuring agency.
The EO comes after Duterte expressed frustration over delays in the procurement process, specifically in the purchase of equipment for military hospitals.
The Duterte administration recently used the Marawi crisis as basis for using emergency procurement to buy 3,000 caliber .45 pistols for soldiers. – Rappler.com