A HOUSE committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would amend the government procurement law, with the measure calling for broader use of electronic processes and preferential treatment for domestic suppliers.
The House amendments were contained in a substitute bill to amend Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
“With this procurement law, we will reduce these problems and all the agencies of government will have a better absorptive capacity, better budget utilization, which will result in more projects and more money and income for the Philippines,” House revision of laws committee chairman and Manila Rep. Edward Michael Vera Perez Maceda said.
Citing government agencies’ low absorptive capacity, Mr. Maceda said that 30% of the problems relate to procurement issues.
The measure allows a low bidder supplying domestic goods to exceed the low foreign bid by 25%.
“Whenever there are both domestic and foreign bidders, the lowest domestic bid shall be given preference if it is within the 25% margin of preference as provided for in the implementing rules and regulations,” according to the bill.
“This provision is very favorable to local,” Mr. Maceda said. “We are giving them the opportunity [as] it is like bid matching to match the lowest foreign bid.”
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. last month ordered a buy-local policy for construction materials used in the infrastructure program.
The proposed law also requires procuring entities to practice sustainable and environment-friendly practices in public procurement.
The bill also requires the Government Procurement Policy Board to standardize procurement processes and bidding forms. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz