Angara: The New Government Procurement Act will enhance efficiency in transactions, prevent wastage and boost investor confidence

Posted on: Sat, 05/25/2024 - 11:22 By: admin
Angara: The New Government Procurement Act will enhance efficiency in transactions, prevent wastage and boost investor confidence

The New Government Procurement Act (NGPA), a measure seen to address inefficiencies and wastage in public transactions by plugging loopholes in the existing law, is now up for review and signing by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Senator Sonny Angara, the principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2593 or the NGPA, said the new procurement law promotes greater transparency, competitiveness, efficiency, professionalism accountability, and sustainability in the government procurement process.

“The NGPA was a product of months of consultations with all the stakeholders, particularly the Executive branch, to come up with a law that will ultimately end up saving money for the government and result in the delivery of better services for our people,” Angara said.

Backed by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council and President Marcos himself, the reconciled version of the NGPA approved by bicameral conference committee was ratified by both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.

The NGPA replaces Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, the 21-year-old law that became served as the entire bureaucracy’s bible for all transactions involving public funds.

Sponsored then by Angara’s father, the late former Senate President Edgardo J. Angara, R.A. 9184 was hailed as a “world-class legislation” by then World Bank Philippine Country Director Joachim von Amsberg.

“Over time, scheming minds were still able to exploit the GPRA and it is high time that we clamp down on these illegal practices by eliminating the opportunities for corruption and this is what the NGPA intends to achieve,” Angara said.
It all starts with better planning for procurement activities and under the NGPA, all government procurement should include proper market scoping, supply positioning, analysis of available procurement modalities, and risk management. 
New modes of procurement have also been introduced to provide greater flexibility to the procuring entities in choosing based on their requirements. These are: competitive dialogue; unsolicited offer with bid matching; direct acquisition; direct sales (pasabuy); direct procurement for science, technology and innovation.

Another key feature of the NGPA is the introduction of the Most Economically Advantageous Responsive Bid (MEARB). This incorporates a pre-determined quality of the goods to be procured as part of the criteria for selecting the winning bid.

“Ang MEARB ay tugon sa obserbasyon ng maraming ahensiya at institusyon ng gobyerno tungkol sa kalidad ng mga binibiling gamit kung ang pagbabasehan lang ay ang pinakamura na presyo. Sayang din naman ang pondo kung nakatipid ka nga sa presyo pero mas madali naman masira o mahina ang kalidad ng gamit na nabili mo,” Angara said.

The NGPA also shortens the period of action on procurement activities from 90 days to 60 days. This starts from the opening up of bids to the awarding of the contract.

As it is in all transactions, transparency is key to ensuring that everything being done, every step of the way is aboveboard. Among the new elements introduced in the NGPA are video recording of procurement-related conferences; equal access to information at all levels of procurement for the procuring entities; the full disclosure, under oath, of any and all relationships between the bidders and all the personalities involved in the bidding process; and qualified observers will be present in all stages of procurement. 

Recognizing that government procurement demands specific skills and know-how, and in order to build a cadre of public procurement professionals, the NGPA tasks the Department of Budget and Management to create procurement positions in government.

Consistent with the provisions of Republic Act 11981 or the Tatak Pinoy (Proudly Filipino) Act, authored and sponsored by Angara, procuring entities should give preference to Philippine products and services. The procuring entity will award the contract to the domestic bidder, if its bid is not more than 25 percent in excess of the lowest foreign bid.

In order to provide equal opportunities to the vulnerable and marginalized sectors, as well as microenterprises, social enterprises and startups, the procuring entities shall encourage their active participation in their procurement activities, giving weight to inclusivity in programs
involving gender and ethnic equity, poverty reduction and respect to fundamental
labor standards.

“Isa sa naging hangarin natin sa NGPA ay ang pagbibigay ng suporta sa ating mga lokal na industriya, kabilang na dito ang mga maliliit na negosyante na kadalasan ay hindi makalahok sa mga bidding ng gobyerno dahil sa kawalan ng track record. Ang partisipasyon sa ganitong klaseng proseso ay isang paraan para makapag-level-up ang mga maliliit na players at mabigyan din ng suporta ang mga industriyang Pilipino at ng produkto at serbisyong Pilipino,” Angara said. 

“This measure will also help boost investor confidence in the Philippines because as we all know, they are constantly looking at the processes undertaken, particularly by the government, when they make decisions to invest in a particular jurisdiction. Consistency, transparency and accountability are key elements in attracting investments,” Angara added.

The Senator thanked his colleagues who actively participated in the crafting of the law, to newly elected Senate President Francis Escudero for allowing him to complete the legislative process for the NGPA, and to former Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Majority Leader Joel Villanueva for helping shepherd the measure