Press Release
July 30, 2023

Tolentino seeks inclusion of pending anti-graft bills in the proposed new procurement law

DAVAO CITY - Senator Francis 'TOL' N. Tolentino wants the inclusion of pending anti-graft measures to the proposed new procurement law being asked by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to Congress.

During an interview with Super Radyo DZBB, Tolentino said there are existing bills he filed under the 19th Congress which he wants to be part of the provisions of the proposed new Government Procurement Code requested by Malacanang to the legislature during President Marcos' second State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week.

"Sa totoo lang, anim na bills na yung na file ko sa procurement. So, ito iko-consolidate na lang kung mayroong bagong version ng Republic Act No. 9184--yung Procurement Act natin--isasama na lang po dito."

Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, spearheaded a series of inquiry in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase by the government of outdated and overpriced laptops for public school teachers.

Following the Senate investigation, Tolentino filed Senate Bill No. 1802, which seeks to abolish the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), the primary government agency involved in various anomalous contracts.

"Pinapa-abolish na po natin ang PS-DBM, at ang mamimili na lang po ay ang mga end-users dahil sila naman po ang gagamit nun--yung mga bureaus, mga offices, yung mga state universities, at kabilang na din ang mga LGUs," Tolentino explained.

Under Senate Bill No. 1803, the senator also seeks the registration of all future joint ventures (JVs) that will participate in government bidding with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Right after the Blue Ribbon panel's probe on the government purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, Tolentino also filed Senate Bill Nos. 2272 and 2273, which mandate the government full transparency and full disclosure in the future supply agreements and purchase contracts as well as requiring the participation of the Office of the Solicitor General in negotiating with foreign governments.

"Dapat wala na po yung non-disclosure agreements. Dapat open na po 'yan."

The senator also filed Senate Bill No. 618, which seeks to establish a uniform warehousing and inventory system for all government procuring entities, and Senate Bill No. 619, which mandates all government suppliers, contractors, and consultants to submit necessary requirements to prove their respective financial capacity.

Tolentino admitted that the entire Procurement Act under RA 9184 needs a total overhaul and hopes that his proposals will be included in the provisions of the new procurement code.

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