Tolentino seeks amendment to gov’t procurement law

Published October 17, 2021, 2:15 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino has filed Senate Bill No. 2431 which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and create a warehousing and inventory system for all government procuring units.

Tolentino said that the proposed bill will mandate the Government Procurement Policy Board to promote a standard operating procedure manual on proper warehousing and inventory of acquired and purchased items to be used by procuring government institutions.

He had earlier appealed to the Department of Education (DepEd) to enter into a partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for the creation of an inventory management system for the assets of DepEd.

During the hearing on the DepEd’s proposed 2022 budget last week, Tolentino made the suggestion when he discussed the Commission on Audit (COA) report indicating the educational department’s inventory system.

“My attention was called on several items referring to inventories. It is a tough matter to discuss and implement and perhaps concur with the suggestion of the Commission on Audit,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino told DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones to ask the support of the DOST and the DICT to create an automated and cloud-based warehousing and inventory system.

“This would not be based on papers, ledgers, charts, etc. This would involve the DOST, perhaps the DICT with you at the helm and making the initiative,” Tolentino added.

Briones agreed with Tolentino’s suggestion saying this should help put an end to the traditional inventory problem used by DepEd and other government agencies.

Tolentino, stressing the importance of digitalization in achieving economic and social resilience, filed the bill mandating the implementation of digitalized technologies at the local government level.

Tolentino also filed SB 2430, which also aims to amend Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, to order LGUs to implement a digitalized inventory and warehousing management system.

The senator said that with more responsibilities passed on to local government units because of the implementation of the Mandanas ruling, it is necessary to assure efficient delivery of basic services by the LGU, including accurate and transparent inventory and warehousing of procured goods.

Currently, LGUs are mandated to establish an out-of-date system for all government properties, goods, and documents for proper inventory and safekeeping, but Tolentino said the process is not automated or electronic.

“The lack of automation then translates to inaccurate and inefficient tracking of procured goods as flagged annually by the Commission on Audit,” Tolentino added.

“Hence, measures that would expedite digitalization of government processes, including inventory and warehousing of procured goods, should be adopted by the LGUs.” (Melvin Sarangay)