THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the government procurement policy board (GPPB) has authorized a simplified procurement process to expedite transactions during the state of calamity declared in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement, the Budget department said GPPB Resolution No. 03-2020 allows procurement projects to apply the rules of Negotiated Procurement (Emergency Case) during the state of calamity, which will have a duration of six months.

The DBM said that “end-user units” or other procuring units can directly recommend revisions to the head of the Procuring Entity (HoPE) and do not need to wait for the Bids and Awards Committee’s (BAC) recommendation in case of revisions to its annual procurement plan (APP).

“Moreover, a separate written confirmation requirement from the HoPE is not needed prior to the approval of the contract,” the statement read.

DBM said the HoPE can also allow the end-user or other procuring units to “directly negotiate with a legally, technically, and financially capable supplier, contractor, or consultant. Hence, the BAC need not be the one to negotiate or procure.”

Meanwhile, the HoPE can also assign awarding of contracts to any official of the procuring body provided that there is no conflict of interest.

Revised APPs must involve projects related to the emergency situation. This includes “provision of food packs, lease of venue or real property for use as quarantine facilities, purchase of COVID-19 testing kits, among others.”

However, the HoPE will have to confirm if funds are available to cover the procurement exercise.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 12 to slow the spread of COVID-19. — Beatrice M. Laforga