A BILL relaxing domestic supplier preferences in government procurement has been filed at the House of Representatives.
House Bill 8173, introduced by Valenzuela City Representative Wes Gatchalian, seeks to strike down the domestic preference provision of the Commonwealth Act No. 138, “The Flag Law,” adopted by the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA).
“For the last 78 years, such domestic preference policy has confined competition in government procurement within our territorial boundaries and has discriminated against foreign suppliers,” Mr. Gatchalian said in the explanatory note.
Commonwealth Act. No. 138 provides that acquisition of any article by government offices, agencies, or corporations shall give preference to goods produced and manufactured in the Philippines.
Mr. Gatchalian said the policy has “largely promoted limited choice, high prices… and has discouraged innovation and reduced competitive pressure among local industries.”
He added that the GPRA generally supports competitiveness and is grounded on providing equal opportunity to qualified parties, regardless of nationality.
Amending the GPRA was among the priority bills identified in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council. At present, 12 other House Bills and nine Senate Bills have been filed, proposing to introduce amendments to the law. All are pending at the committee level. — Charmaine A. Tadalan