Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman attends an economic briefing in Pasay City, July 26, 2022. — REUTERS

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said its Procurement Service (PS) is expected to deliver on its potential to realize significant cost savings for the government with further digitalization, despite recent questions about its performance with regard to a laptop computer order for the Education department.

Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a statement that “I’ve always expressed my full support for the Procurement Service… I still believe in the potential of PS to deliver on its objective to save the government billions of pesos through bulk procurement and market price monitoring and validation, ensuring that the Filipino people get the most of every peso entrusted to the government.”

The PS focuses on procuring items needed across the entire government, with the bulk orders giving it the bargaining power to obtain favorable prices from suppliers.

The Department of Education’s laptop order was questioned because the devices’ specifications were deemed too low-end for the price paid.

In the wake of the laptop controversy, the PS declared in August that it suspended transactions involving non-common use supplies and equipment until further notice. It is currently focusing on common-use supplies and equipment.

The creation of the PS “is consistent with the adoption of a procurement policy of economic and efficient manner of purchasing government materials,” the DBM said in its statement.

The PS realized government savings of P18 billion during the term of then-Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, according to the DBM. Mr. Diokno is currently the Secretary of Finance.

Ms. Pangandaman said that she recently met with World Bank officials to discuss prospective collaboration in reforming Philippine procurement law.

She added that the government intends to maximize digitalization to ensure transparency and efficiencies in public procurement. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson