Tolentino: Procurement law should always respond to the needs of the times

Senator Francis ‘Tol’ N. Tolentino on Thursday, January 2, emphasized the urgent need to amend the country’s current procurement law to avert similar anomalous procurement processes which were previously flagged down by the country’s state auditors.

Tolentino said that just like any living Constitution, the present procurement law under Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) should be equipped with enough safeguards to prevent abuses in the bureaucracy.

“Kagaya po sa Konstitusyon (like the Constitution) —that we should have a living Constitution that should always respond to the needs of the times. Ganon din yung Procurement Law, dapat yung Procurement Law should respond to the needs of the times,” he said.

Amid a series of controversies that hounded the bidding process of various government procurement projects, Tolentino earlier filed Senate Bill No. 1803 which aims not only to amend RA 9184 but also sought permanent abolition of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

Tolentinto said the agency has been tainted with controversies in the performance of its mandate.

He emphasized that it is about time that all procurement of goods—including common-use supplies, materials and equipment, and infrastructure projects—should henceforth be undertaken by the respective departments and other government agencies.

He said the Commission on Audit (COA) has already proven in the notices of disallowances it issued over the past years, on how the bidding procedure became disadvantageous, especially when such procurement process was channeled through PS-DBM.

Tolentino also warned that allowing such a government agency to channel its procurement process to another bureau would be just more prone to graft and corruption.