DOTr asserts legality of procurement in transpo projects

MANILA -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Sunday said seeking the assistance of the procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) for its various projects was aboveboard and has no irregularities.

In a statement, DOTr said Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act allows government agencies to engage with PS-DBM for the procurement of their projects.

Considering the volume of DOTr projects to be procured, especially those that form part of the 'Build, Build, Build' (BBB) Program of the Duterte administration, the DOTr deemed it wise and strategic to seek the assistance of PS-DBM as DOTr's procuring agent. It is a cooperation between the two agencies to expedite the procurement for BBB priority projects, in order for them to be implemented swiftly for the benefit of the public, the DOTr's statement read.

It said Congress has likewise mandated one-year validity for government funds, thus, line agencies only have a year to procure or obligate for projects indicated in the budget.

The DOTr has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the PS-DBM to set guidelines on the procurement of projects which is being renewed every year.

In 2017, the DOTr has agreed to procure for itself projects which have prices set at PHP50 million or below while the PS-DBM will be in charge of the procurement of projects amounting to more than PHP50 million on behalf of the department.

Through this setup, procurement for projects across the four transportation sectors has become swift and efficient, with biddings for various projects simultaneously held by the DOTr and the PS-DBM, according to the DOTr.

The terms of reference and bidding documents for the projects remain with the DOTr as the head of procuring entity. The Notice of Award, contract, and Notice to Proceed are still with the DOTr, as well as the subject project's implementation.

The DOTr remains faithful to the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to rid government ranks of anomaly and corruption. The DOTr takes this to heart in its establishment of systems and processes that espouse transparency and efficiency. Its engagement of the PS-DBM as a procuring agent is not any different, the DOTr stated.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya has claimed that the DBM, through its procurement service, has procured projects which amounted to PHP168 billion for DOTr in 2018.

He said that the DoTr budget, under the General Appropriations Act of 2018, was only PHP38 billion. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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