MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy on Wednesday, December 11, launched a web application designed to help monitor the progress of its projects and procurements in an effort to promote transparency and prevent corruption.
Called the “Procurement Information System” or PRISM (prism.navy.mil.ph), the web app contains a searchable database of the Navy’s projects and procurements, their contractors, budgets, deadlines, a basic description of each item, and the status of each contract.
The Navy’s bids-and-awards committee and other relevant units would supply the information – real time, the Navy commits – which suppliers, contractors, and the public could view on the website.
Having a website through which contractors and suppliers could check on the status of their transactions with the Navy would help eliminate the need for them to visit the Navy’s offices or seek out its officers to lobby for their contracts. PRISM would be the “point of contact” to check on those projects, said Major General Dante Hidalgo, the Navy’s vice commander.
Hidalgo declined to describe instances in which physical “lobbying” among contractors and officials led to corruption.
Any missing information, or delays in the progress of every project would be easy to spot on PRISM, said Department of National Defense (DND) Assistant Secretary for Logistics and Acquisitions Jesus Rey Avilla.
“We would be able to eradicate so-called corruption and connivance, so that they could find out for certain the status of their proposals or offers. So transparency is the bottomline of all of these things,” Avilla told reporters at PRISM’s launch at Naval Station Jose Francisco at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
The DND would encourage the military’s other service units – the Army and the Air Force – to build similar web applications, Avilla added.
Meanwhile, Hidalgo said PRISM will eventually be linked to the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), where most government agencies post their procurement requirements, and interested suppliers check for opportunities to transact with the government.
The last major corruption issue the Navy figured in was in 2018, when it was discovered that President Rodrigo Duterte’s right-hand man, Bong Go, now a senator, apparently intervened in the procurement of a Combat Management System, worth P15.5 billion, for the Navy’s two upcoming frigates, the BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna, both set to be delivered in 2020. – Rappler.com
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