By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will be acquiring more than 25,000 pieces of Israel-made basic assault rifles that are expected to be used by policemen assigned to run after threat groups that include communist rebels and rogue Moro groups in Mindanao.
The good news is that the PNP stands to save a lot of money from the procurement of 25,120 pieces of the 5.56 basic assault rifle since each unit will only cost P41,820 as compared to the market price which is more than double.
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, officer-in-charge of the PNP, said he has already signed the Implementing Arrangement with IMOD East Asia Regional Director Nuni Sella on December 11 for the procurement of the rifles from the Israel Weapons Industries (IWI), one of the leading arms manufacturers in the world.
For the more than 25,000 assault rifles, the government will only pay P726,926,720 from the national budget of 2019.
What makes the cost cheaper, according to Gamboa, is that the procurement was made through the ‘Government to Government’ (G2G) mode of acquisition between the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) and the Philippine’s Defense department.
“The procurement through G2G was no easy undertaking. We initiated this undertaking through various discussions and coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the historical procurement was given birth,” said Gamboa who used to chair the National Headquarters-Bids and Awards Committees (NHQ-BAC).
Timeline of procurement
Based on the study of the PNP, some government law enforcement agencies shelled out a lot of money for the procurement of basic assault rifles. Through the Government-to-Government initiative, the price became cheaper.
Based from curated records, PDEA through Public Bidding has procured 600 units Galil Ace (Basic Assault Rifle) from IWI for a price per unit of around P168,000.00.
In 2017, the PNP NHQ BAC through Public Bidding has procured 8,170 units of Basic Assault Rifle for a price per unit of P87,995.00.
Similarly in 2017, the PNP NHQ BAC through Public Bidding has procured 698 units of Basic Assault Rifle for a price per unit of P82,000.00.
In 2018 the PNP through Public Bidding has procured 7,700 units of Galil Ace for IWI from a price per unit of P46,999.
Early this year, the PNP has procured 5,767 units Basic Assault Rifle for the same price of P46,999.
“These procurement projects were done through Competitive Public Bidding, and these projects passed the very rigid and strict post-qualification procedures, test and evaluation, and acceptance requirements of the PNP,” said Gamboa.
But in the latest agreement for the procurement of the basic assault rifles, the price will now be at approximately P41,000 which is far lower than the price per unit obtained through public bidding.
“Aside from its firm legal anchorage and transparency, backed up by intelligent market research, the Government-to-Government mode of procurement truly is transparent, corrupt-free and beneficial to the government,” said Gamboa.
How it started
The mode of procurement was originally based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of National Defense and IMOD for the procurement of defense and security equipment under a Defense Cooperation Agreement pursuant to Section 53.8 of the RIRR of RA No. 9184 or The Government Procurement Reform Act of 2016.
Gamboa said that the capitalized on the provision of the agreement which stated that the MOU is also applicable to the PNP.
“The weaponry of the PNP is even made more superior and standardize through G2G as part of the continuing effort of the PNP leadership and the national government to enhance the firepower, mobility, and tactical capabilities of PNP operating units to serve and protect the Filipino people,” said Gamboa.