Press Release
October 14, 2021

Tolentino proposes new guidelines on emergency procurement

MANILA - Senator Francis 'Tol' N. Tolentino recently proposed new guidelines to determine whether a government supplier/contractor is financially capable during emergency procurement.

Tolentino's recently filed Senate Bill No. 2433, seeks to amend Section 53 of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act to update the provisions on "negotiated procurement" and require the presentation of documents that will prove bidders' financial capacity to fulfill the requirements set by the government.

Under RA 9184, a negotiated procurement scheme may be conducted by the government directly with suppliers/contractors "in case of extraordinary circumstances," on the condition that the chosen private firm is a capable supplier--technically, legally, and financially.

However, Tolentino noted that RA 9184 failed to provide guidelines in determining whether a supplier/contractor is efficient enough to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Tolentino stressed that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a wake-up call in determining the gaps in current laws, as the Senate and the House of Representatives continue with their respective inquiries over the alleged overpricing of medical supplies purchased under RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020.

"The pandemic laid bare disparities in our laws, particularly those related to health care, travel, transportation, and procurement," said Tolentino.

Under SB 2433, potential government suppliers, contractors, and consultants "are mandated to submit documents to prove their financial capacity," even if under a negotiated procurement scheme.

Tolentino's proposed legislation also mandates the procuring government agency to determine the financial, legal, and technical capability of such supplier/contractor during an emergency procurement.

According to Tolentino, it's about time to amend the present procurement rules; by doing so, the senator believes it will promote and sustain efficient and good governance.

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