The team from the Procurement Service - Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) led by Executive Director (ED) Dennis S. Santiago joined Senate interpellations to address queries on the proposed New Government Procurement Act (NGPA) sponsored by Senator Juan Edgardo Sonny Angara on March 18 and 20, 2024.

The interpellations started with Senator Jinggoy Estrada who propounded searching questions on the concepts of procurement agent and electronic procurement as means to enhance the conduct of procurement activities by government agencies. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, III emphasized the need for the proposed bill to address irregularities and violations in public procurement and the ability of certain public officials to evade prosecution and liability despite the provisions in and sanctions imposed by the current procurement law.

Senator Angara introduced new concepts and modes of procurement that shall help deal with the current predicament of procurement actors. Of note is the most economically advantageous responsive bid criterion which shall factor in quality alongside cost in determining the winning bidder. The Senator also underscored enhancements in the bill that will prevent recurrence of controversies relative to government procurement.

Along with ED Santiago representing PS-DBM were Procurement Group Director Genmaries S. Entredicho-Caong, Operations Group Director Philip Josef T. Vera Cruz, Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) Group Director Maria Teresita M. Semana, and Attys. Ramon Matibag and Lyodichie Camarao of the Legal Division. Other officials including DBM Undersecretary Janet Abuel and Government Procurement Policy Board-Technical Support Office ED Rowena Candice Ruiz likewise provided assistance to Senator Angara’s team in answering questions and concerns relative to the bill.

The President has already certified the necessity of the immediate enactment of the NGPA in order to “address the tedious and prolonged procedure in public procurement” and “address gaps in public spending” which hamper the ability of the government to deliver services to the general public.

DBM Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman previously expressed her “endless gratitude” to Senator Angara for sponsoring the NGPA, adding that “the perfect time to amend the decades-old procurement law is now.”

The NGPA, a priority measure of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council, is envisioned to make public procurement more efficient, transparent, attuned to the changing times, and responsive to the evolving needs of the Filipino people.

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