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Gov’t to prioritize local suppliers, small firms in purchase of goods amid COVID-19 crisis

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PHILSTAR

THE Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) issued new guidelines Saturday ordering preference for domestic bidders and small businesses when possible to ensure rapid procurement under Republic Act (RA) 11494, or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan II).

The GPPB issued Resolution No. 18-2020 dated Sept. 16, asking procuring entities (PEs) to “exert all efforts to secure the most advantageous price,” and reminded them to buy agricultural and fisheries products directly from farmers and fisherfolk.

It said the procedure and requirements under Circular No. 01-2020 issued April 6 are once again in force to expedite the procurement of critical supplies, materials, equipment, utilities, telecommunications and other services.

PEs will still have to publish required documents and information on the GPPB Online Portal, it said.

It released Resolution No. 19-2020 to direct agencies to give preference to domestic manufacturers and micro, small and medium enterprises when buying goods and services needed to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

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“Section 43 of RA No. 9184 provides that goods may be obtained from domestic or foreign sources and the procurement thereof shall be open to all eligible suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors consistent with the country’s obligations under international treaties or agreements. However, in the interest of availability, efficiency, and timely delivery of goods, the PE may give preference to the purchase of domestically-produced and manufactured goods, supplies, and materials that meet the specified or desired quality,” according to the document.

It said the decision will remain subject to certification from the Trade department stating the items are substantially composed of articles, materials, or supplies grown, produced, or manufactured in the country; and the award of contract will be given to the lowest domestic bidder even if its bid is 15% in excess of the lowest foreign bid.

The resolutions were issued to serve as the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the procurement provisions under Bayanihan II.

The rules will only be valid during the effectiveness of Bayanihan II, or until Dec. 19.

The GPPB also released Resolutions No. 15-2020 and 16-2020 on the simplified versions of bid documents for goods and infrastructure projects. These are intended to streamline procurement and can be used for online bid submissions through the GPPB Online Portal.

The simplified documents are expected to minimize contested interpretations of rules that may cause eligible bidders to be disqualified; inconsistencies due to repetitive clauses; delays in delivery or implementation of procurement projects because of long processing times; and to cut down on the “voluminous nature of Philippine bidding documents.”

It said bidders and PEs are encouraged to use the online bid submission portal to ensure safety during the pandemic. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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