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Duterte seeks changes to government procurement law

President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the procurement law amended to give government projects to the “most responsive and advantageous” bidders instead of merely to contractors with the lowest bid.

With his proposed amendment, government entities would not be bound to pick the cheapest bid.

During the Cabinet meeting Friday night, Duterte said he wanted to amend the phrase in Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act from “lowest calculated responsive bid” to “most responsive and advantageous bid,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Since he took office in 2016, the President has been blaming the law’s requirement of awarding government projects to the lowest bidder for substandard infrastructure and corrupt practices in procurement.

Under the present procurement law, the winning bid must be “responsive” and “qualified” apart from being the cheapest to ensure quality in the project’s implementation.

For the procurement of goods and infrastructure projects, the Bids and Awards Committee will evaluate the financial component of the bids and rank those from lowest to highest in terms of their corresponding calculated prices.

The bid with the lowest calculated price will be referred to as the “lowest calculated bid,” as stated in the law.

For consulting services, the bids will be evaluated and ranked in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the bidding documents, which shall include factors such as experience, performance, quality of personnel, price and methodology.

The bids will be ranked from highest to lowest in terms of their corresponding calculated ratings. The bid with the highest calculated rating will be the “highest rated bid.”

“The lowest calculated bid/highest rated bid shall undergo post-qualification in order to determine whether the bidder concerned complies with and is responsive to all the requirements and conditions as specified in the bidding documents,” the law reads.

In 2017, Duterte issued an executive order allowing government agencies to proceed with alternative methods of procurement instead of public bidding without getting permission from the Government Procurement Policy Board provided that certain conditions are met.

He did so to simplify the government’s procurement procedures for projects, goods and services “to attain an optimal and expedient system.”

Topics: Bids and Awards Committee , Rodrigo Duterte , Republic Act 9184 , Government Procurement Reform Act
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