Press Release
August 29, 2021

Villanueva: Halt big-ticket gov't procurement thru PS-DBM until agency cleared of corruption allegations

Senator Joel Villanueva said government agencies should temporarily stop using the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) as their buying arm for big-ticket projects until the agency has been reformed and cleared of controversies.

Villanueva said there should be a "moratorium on the practice of agencies transferring large amounts of funds to the PS-DBM so the latter can conduct the bidding for goods and projects on their behalf."

"Para pong balde na tadtad ng butas ang PS-DBM. Kung magpapatuloy po ang daloy ng pondo, ang daming masasayang. Isara muna ang gripo at selyohan ang mga butas," he said.

On the contrary, the goods will be bought promptly if agencies will do the bidding because "PS-DBM is another layer of red tape" in the procurement process.

"There is practically no need for agencies to pay a commission to the middle man, which is exactly what PS-DBM's role is. They can do the bidding of contracts themselves," Villanueva said.

Villanueva shared the observation of his colleagues that the reason why agencies dump their funds on PS-DBM is to extend the validity of the fund allotments.

"When expiring allotments are transferred to PS-DBM these are given a new lease of life," he said.

The transferred funds would now be deemed as obligations in the books of agencies and no longer unspent funds that must be reverted to the national treasury.

"I wonder why the DBM, which is a proponent of timely spending of funds, not only entertains but seems to encourage this kind of simulated spending," he said.

Villanueva said he is not calling for a "full stop to all PS-DBM's operations, but only for new contracts. It shall continue its business of being the bulk buyer of government's common-use supplies."

He said billions of pesos of unspent advances by agencies to PS-DBM "should either be returned to sender or the procurement, if these are on the last mile, be expedited."

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