Close to two hundred merchants – manufacturers, distributors, traders and contractors – attended the second Workshop with Merchants, an annual activity held by the PS-PhilGEPS to assemble current and new partners to an information-rich dialogue towards fulfilling the requirements of government tendered by the PS-PhilGEPS.
Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management provided the Keynote Speech and urged merchants to partner with the PS-PhilGEPS and other government agencies. He called on everyone to be “instruments of better change” and that “the people’s tax must be used prudently to ensure good public services, from buying goods and services that work as they are supposed to, to achieving savings that can be ploughed back into front-line services.” He expounded on the benefits of using the PhilGEPS website and supplying the various needs of the government. Secretary Diokno is referred to as the “Grandfather of PhilGEPS” as it was during his first tenure as DBM Secretary (1998-2001) when Executive Order Nos. 40 and 322 were issued establishing the use of the PhilGEPS to promote transparency and efficiency, information and communications technology in the conduct of procurement procedures.
The PS-PhilGEPS Executive Committee headed by Executive Director Jose Tomas Syquia, also made the call for merchants to participate in PS-PhilGEPS tenders. He said that the workshop is the opportunity for PS-PhilGEPS to demystify public procurement and level the playing field. The event is an opportunity to have a dialogue as we strive to encourage a more transparent, participative and competitive environment for PS procurement activities. ICT initiatives, the 2017 requirements that will be the subject of bidding, procurement as well as contract management matters and the possibilities of growing businesses with the PS-PhilGEPS were topics that got the attention of the participating merchants. These were presented by the other Execom members - Directors Rosa Maria Clemente, Flerida Arias, Rommel Rivera and Laarni Testor. The challenges of bidding and a presentation of the 2016 prime projects were the topics addressed by Atty. Vhincent Cañares, PS-PhilGEPS Legal Counsel. The merchants were also greatly encouraged to visit the Procurement Service website at www.procurementservice.gov.ph as all information on doing business with the PS-PhilGEPS has been made available consistent with the office’s transparency standards.
Guest speakers from EU-Switch, Dr. Channa Gunawardena and Dr. Gerhard Weihs spoke on the Green Public Procurement (GPP) programme for the Philippine Government and how it aims to promote sustainable development in the Philippines.
Ms. Cecille Ayllon from Mecka Business Dynamix Incorporated and De La Salle – College of St. Benilde was also invited to talk about the Business to Government (B2G) market and why the private sector should consider the government in developing their businesses. She was able to capture the interest of the participants by using relatable anecdotes, and further discussing about the B2G as a big market for the merchants’ products and services.
A most animated and dynamic 60 minutes of lecture was made by Executive Director Dennis Santiago of the GPPB Technical Support Office on the Revisions in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Government Procurement Reform Act (R.A. 9184). He discussed amendments to the IRR, several of which favor and will make doing business with government easier for merchant-bidders and were adopted based on suggestions from procurement practitioners like the PS-PhilGEPS.
Undersecretary Janet Abuel of the DBM provided the Closing Remarks and reiterated the call for partnership between government and the merchants.
The whole day event was held on August 26, 2016 at the Bayleaf Intramuros in the City of Manila. Ms. Dalisay Conrina dela Chica, Chief of the PS-PhilGEPS Sales Division, was the host of the programme.
A webpage of the event is available at this link: http://ps-philgeps.gov.ph/home/index.php/2nd-workshop-with-merchants. The presentations of the lecturers have been made available at the said webpage.