Pimentel presses the abolition of PS-DBM

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III on Friday, January 20, pressed for the immediate abolition of the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) following its controversial purchases of billions of pesos worth of government supplies.

Malacanang could do it by simply issuing an order which had created the PS-DBM, Pimentel explained.

PS-DBM was established in October, 1978 through a Letter of Instruction issued by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. the creation of PS-DBM was strengthened by two Executive Orders.

It was created for the wholesale purchases of office supplies like clips and reams of paper for communications and letters.

Senators earlier pressed for the abolition of PS-DBM following Senate Blue Ribbon committee inquiries on its alleged overpriced purchases of Covid-related medical supplies worth P10-billion such as face masks and face shields from Pharmally Corporation during the Duterte administration. The committee chairman was then Senator Richard J. Gordon.

Pimentel said abolition of PS-DBM could also be done by Congress.

The abolition of the PS-DBM was part of a list of recommendations of Senator Francis ‘’Tol’’ Tolentino, Senate blue ribbon committee chairman, following its investigations on its purchase of alleged overpriced laptops for the Department of Education (DepEd).

The Senate chief fiscalizer said there is no need for the PS-DBM because government agencies have their own bids and awards committees.

Deputy minority leader Risa Hontiveros echoed Pimentel's call as she also welcomed the recommendation to file criminal charges against former PS-DBM OIC Christopher Lloyd Lao and other of the agency's executives.

"I have been calling for the abolition of the PS-DBM. I will propose that during the period of amendments when the BROOM report is deliberated in the plenary," Hontiveros said, referring to the Blue Ribbon Oversight Office Management which assesses and monitors the investigations undertaken by the Senate blue ribbon panel.

In the Senate, Senator Imee Marcos refiled her bill, Senate Bill No. 1123, seeking the abolition of PS-DBM.