Private, govt sectors meet in Davao to discuss procurement issues

Jun. 22, 2007

DAVAO CITY — AT LEAST 130 stakeholders from the construction industry of Mindanao converged in Davao City recently to discuss issues concerning the government procurement policies and procedures.

The activity, which was spearheaded by the Southern Philippines Construction Core Group (SPCCG), was attended by those coming from government agencies involved in the implementation of procurement policies and procedures and private companies engaged in construction and selling of construction materials.

During the one-day activity, salient features of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Act Providing for the Modernization, Standardization, and Regulation of the Procurement Activities of the Government and other Purposes were tackled. Among the speakers were Engr. Antonio Molano of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Engr. Emerson Benitez of the Procurement Office for Civil Works, Lawyer Qunitin Magsico of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), and Engr. Sonia Valdeavilla of the Philippine Overseas Construction Board (POCB).

One significant feature of RA 9184, as discussed during the consultation, is the simplification of pre-qualification procedures for bidders.

Magsico said the above-mentioned feature of the law is a major strength that deters sources of red tape arrangements.

Magsico also stated that other than the usual requirements in publishing projects for bidding, the mechanism of posting through the internet provides more transparency in bidding and in the entire procurement process.

In order to further promote transparency and simplification of procurement processes, the GPPB has committed to assist the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government units (LGUs) in coming up with their procurement manuals; coordinate with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to find suitable methodologies in accelerating the process filing electronic tax clearances fro the contractors to avail of the same, being a requirement for undertaking government projects; and review the warranty and security provisions of the law.

The consultation is an effort to level-off understanding, clarify/resolve issues and concerns affecting the implementation of RA 9184, and ultimately to improve conditions in doing business, as said by Ernesto Paredes, chair of the Southern Philippines Construction Core Group (SPCCG).

In a way, the consultation has become an avenue where the diverse interpretations of the law were unified. Therefore, a common understanding of the law has been arrived at.

The activity was organized by the SPCCG in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11, Construction Industry Association of the Philippines (CIAP), DPWH and GPPB.

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