The Procurement Service – Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), through its Executive Director (ED) Atty. Dennis S. Santiago, represented the Philippines in the virtual workshop on sustainable public procurement (SPP) organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok, Thailand.

With the theme “Leveraging SPP for Blue and Green Economy Development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” ED Santiago presented on December 7, 2022 the Philippine experience in the implementation of Green Public Procurement (GPP) in the country, as well as its drivers and barriers.

The Philippine GPP experience was highlighted alongside the overall SPP regime. Ten (10) common-use supplies and equipment (CSE) and ten (10) non-CSE (NCSE) pursuant to the GPP Roadmap were discussed, including the parameters and verification approaches under the present GPP setup.

SPP, as defined by UNDP’s terms of reference, is a systematic approach to identify and encourage the appropriate balance between the three pillars of sustainable development — economic, social, and environmental — when authorities procure goods, services, or works at all stages of the project.

In his discussion, ED Santiago tackled the national interest in carrying out GPP and the present conditions for its implementation. He also touched on PS-DBM’s strategies in implementing GPP through a stepwise approach that shall progress to a larger coverage of goods, supplies, and materials for the government. The support, opportunities, and challenges were also covered. While the presentation was in the local context, the discourse remained globally relevant as the principles of SPP and GPP can be linked directly to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 12.7.

Attended by ASEAN representatives, participants’ fundamental knowledge of SPP and GPP was reinforced through the harmonization of regulation and standards among the member states.

On November 17-18, ED Santiago was among the key lecturers for another UNDP event, a fora on the “Mitigation of Integrity Risks in Philippine Public Procurement” where he zeroed in on integrity risk management and due diligence in the procurement process.

According to UNDP, the promotion of transparency in public procurement — a major economic contributor accounting for up to 20% of ASEAN’s gross domestic product — reduces the chances of financial mismanagement and frees additional resources for investments.

Described as an expert and a staunch advocate of ethics and moral values in public procurement, ED Santiago’s discussion was expected to contribute in the creation of a training module on anti-corruption in Philippine public procurement developed by UNDP in coordination with the Government Procurement Policy Board-Technical Support Office and the Local Government Academy.

These virtual engagements form part of UNDP’s FairBiz Project which aims to promote a fair business environment in ASEAN. In support of this goal, PS-DBM takes every opportunity to forge stronger partnerships between the Government and development partners to reform procurement; promote sustainable business practices; and strengthen accountability.

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