11 April 2023 06:30:22 PM
House Deputy Speaker (DS) and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. on Tuesday met with regional officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to gather inputs and refine proposed amendments to Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the “Government Procurement Reform Act.”
DS Gonzales explained that the meeting was organized to discuss loopholes and improvements in RA 9184, telling DPWH personnel present that, “If you want to amend it, we are open to that, we can discuss at ano ang magandang formula o solusyon para mapabiis ang ating procurement process.”
Noting that some 20 years have passed since the enactment of RA 9184, DS Gonzales said that “The fast-paced change in modern times and the current trend in the procurement process require us to introduce adaptive and innovative systems, and processes for more transparent, faster, and more efficient procurement system.” He considered his involvement in leading moves to amend RA 9184 and craft the proposed ‘Bagong Pilipinas Procurement Act’” as a great honor.
He recounted filing several proposed amendments to RA 9184 in previous Congresses. In the 19th Congress, three (3) measures are pending in the Committee on Revision of Laws with the same intent.
He stated that he shall pursue the following proposed amendments : 1) raise the pre-bidding conference threshold from P1 million to P100 million; 2) reduce the entire process from 72 calendar days down to 34 calendar days; 3) require only one posting for the notice of award and notice to proceed (NTP) with the attachment of the contract within 15 calendar days from the issuance of the NTP; and 4) include the phrase “unless delegated to the BAC (Bids and Awards Committee) Secretariat” in Section 25 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9184.
Acknowledging how government procurement has become faster with RA 9184, DPWH Undersecretary for Operations Antonio Molano nonetheless noted how post-qualification requirements sometimes delay the procurement process. He urged DS Gonzales to consider the inclusion of a provision in the proposed measure allowing the use of technology to speed up the process during the evaluation and post-qualification stages of procurement.