Following their presentation in a sectoral meeting at the Malacañang Palace on May 14, 2024, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman and Procurement Service-DBM (PS-DBM) Executive Director (ED) Dennis S. Santiago received the nod of approval from President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to launch the government’s electronic marketplace, or eMarketplace.

In a press conference after the meeting, Sec. Pangandaman and ED Santiago shared that the discussion was focused on the upgrades and additional features of the eMarketplace, as well as the updates on its implementation status.

The eMarketplace, to be operated by PS-DBM’s Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) Group, is a digital platform that shall serve as a virtual marketplace for buying and selling activities among multiple buyers and sellers. This is aimed at making the procurement system more efficient, transparent, reliable, sustainable, and future proof — in relation to the fact that the issues concerning procurement are the biggest bottleneck and hurdle in the budget utilization of government agencies.

“This is a significant component of the government’s digital transformation as we leverage the power of technology to connect businesses, consumers, and suppliers in the digital environment,” Sec. Pangandalam said.

For his part — leading the institutionalization of procurement reforms in PS-DBM through its 12-point agenda, specifically the continuous modernization of PhilGEPS — ED Santiago sees this development as a measure to allow for ease of procurement and efficiency in government contracting by shortening the procurement process.

According to ED Santiago, PS-DBM is targeting to launch the eMarketplace with motor vehicles as the pilot product to be offered as Common-use Supplies and Equipment (CSE). He also added that apart from eMarketplace, other functionalities of the modernized PhilGEPS include the eReverse Auction, advanced data analytics, and system integration, among others.

“These are included in the proposed NGPA (New Government Procurement Act)... to provide a platform to buyers, sellers, and other market operators to look at multiple products in one platform where they can choose, select, order, and pay through the same system,” ED Santiago said.

The proposed NGPA is among the President’s priority bills and is presently at the interpellation stage in the Senate. When enacted, the existing decades-old procurement law, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act, shall be amended.

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