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Sunday, March 3, 2024

DBM nixes bill to abolish Procurement Service

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Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman has rejected anew calls for the abolition of the Procurement Service under her agency,citing its importance in the acquisition process of government agencies.

Pangandaman said the unit has a critical role in government purchases of common supplies under the proposed amendments to the procurement law.

Relatively small agencies can directly buy their supplies from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) unit, without undergoing the tedious procurement processes, she said.

“Usually the smaller agencies buy common-use items. So if they are available from the PS-DBM, our central procurement agency, they can buy it directly there,”Pangandaman told reporters.

The PS-DBM has been linked to the P2.4 billion purchase of allegedly overpriced laptops for teachers last year.

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In 2021, it was also linked to the anomalous transactions with with Pharmally Pharmaceuticals.

Some lawmakers, including the Makabayan bloc, have criticized the PS-DBM and filed House Bill 3270 seeking to abolish it..

The PS-DBM was created on October 18, 1978 “to establish an integrated procurement system for the national government to take advantage of economies-of-scale in procurement,” according to Senate Bill 2388 filed by Sen. Imee Marcos.

The agency was tasked to buy items used in the daily operations of the bureaucracy – such as pens, papers and toiletries for public buildings- as the government can procure these items at a lower price when bought in bulk.

The PS-DBM also has a trading function as it resells the items it procured to other government agencies. The PS-DBM charges a four-percent service fee for procurements it carries out on behalf of other agencies.

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