Angara: New gov’t procurement law will prevent wastage, boost investor confidence

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Friday, May 24 said he is confident the New Government Procurement Act (NGPA), will prevent wastage in public transactions as it would plug loopholes in the existing law.


The measure is now up for review and signing by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.


The NGPA will replace Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA), the 21-year-old law that served as the entire bureaucracy’s bible for all transactions involving public funds.


“The NGPA was a product of months of consultations with all the stakeholders, particularly the Executive branch, to come up with a law that will ultimately end up saving money for the government and result in the delivery of better services for our people,” Angara said.


Senate Bill No. 2539, he said, bill is also expected to address inefficiencies and wastage in public transactions.


The new procurement law will also promote greater transparency, competitiveness, efficiency, professionalism accountability, and sustainability in the government procurement process.


The measure is certified priority by the Marcos administration itself and backed by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).


The bicameral conference committee report on the bill was ratified by both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.


“Over time, scheming minds were still able to exploit the GPRA and it is high time that we clamp down on these illegal practices by eliminating the opportunities for corruption and this is what the NGPA intends to achieve,” Angara said.


Under the NGPA, all government procurement should include proper market scoping, supply positioning, analysis of available procurement modalities, and risk management.


The new measure also introduces new modes of procurement to provide greater flexibility to the procuring entities in choosing based on their requirements.


These include competitive dialogue; unsolicited offer with bid matching; direct acquisition; direct sales (pasabuy); direct procurement for science, technology and innovation.


Another key feature of the NGPA is the introduction of the Most Economically Advantageous Responsive Bid (MEARB), which incorporates a pre-determined quality of the goods to be bought as part of the criteria for selecting the winning bid.


“Ang MEARB ay tugon sa obserbasyon ng maraming ahensiya at institusyon ng gobyerno tungkol sa kalidad ng mga binibiling gamit kung ang pagbabasehan lang ay ang pinakamura na presyo (The MEARB is our response to the common observation of many government agencies and institution about the quality of goods being purchased whenever they consider the lowest price),” he said.


“Sayang din naman ang pondo kung nakatipid ka nga sa presyo pero mas madali naman masira o mahina ang kalidad ng gamit na nabili mo (It’s a waste of government funds if you think you were able to save money but the goods bought are easily broken or of low quality),” Angara explained.


The senator also said the NGPA shortens the period of action on procurement activities from 90 days to 60 days, starting from the opening up of bids to the awarding of the contract.


“Isa sa naging hangarin natin sa NGPA ay ang pagbibigay ng suporta sa ating mga lokal na industriya, kabilang na dito ang mga maliliit na negosyante na kadalasan ay hindi makalahok sa mga bidding ng gobyerno dahil sa kawalan ng track record (One of the goals of our NGPA is to provide support to our local industries, including small businesses who usually could not join government bidding due to lack of track record),” he said.


“Ang partisipasyon sa ganitong klaseng proseso ay isang paraan para makapag-level-up ang mga maliliit na players at mabigyan din ng suporta ang mga industriyang Pilipino at ng produkto at serbisyong Pilipino (Participating in these kind of process is one way for the small players to level-up and to give support to Filipino industries and Filipino products and services),” Angara said.


“This measure will also help boost investor confidence in the Philippines because as we all know, they are constantly looking at the processes undertaken, particularly by the government, when they make decisions to invest in a particular jurisdiction. Consistency, transparency and accountability are key elements in attracting investments,” Angara added.