The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), in partnership with the World Bank (WB), will host a global procurement conference on April 20-21, 2015 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.
This conference will bring together international procurement experts to discuss a global platform for knowledge-sharing and standards-setting, with countries in the driver seat and international organizations supporting implementation. The event will be attended by local and foreign participants from government, civil society organizations (CSOs), academic institutions, private sector organizations, and development partners.
DBM Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said, “This event is a venue through which procurement experts the world over can share insights and best practices, as well as review public procurement as a major function of good governance. The event is also a recognition of the achievements and challenges in the implementation of the Government Procurement Reform Act.”
In the conference, a crucial topic that would be of great interest in the effort to reform Philippine procurement process is the following: “In the aftermath of procurement reforms, how can we make progress stick?” A panel of procurement reform experts from countries like Peru, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Chile will share knowledge on their strategies and actual experiences in making their countries’ reforms sustainable and irreversible.
Dennis Santiago, Executive Director, GPPB-Technical Support Office said, “The passage of Republic Act 9184, the Government Procurement Reform Act, in January 2003 transformed government procurement regime into a competitive, transparent, efficient, accountable, and functional public acquisition system. It established standardized procurement procedures, modernization via technology, sustainable organizational structures, a system for monitoring and evaluation, and capacity development for its procurement practitioners.”
The public procurement system now has benchmarks using performance measurement standards based on actual data analysis prescribed by the GPPB. Development partners such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and the World Bank had likewise collaborated with the GPPB in conducting periodic performance reviews via the past five Country Procurement Assessment Reports (CPARs), with the latest one issued in early 2012.
In pursuit of the procurement reform agenda, the Aquino administration had already implemented the action plans agreed upon in the 2008 and 2012 CPARs, including the following:
* The upgrade of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) into a full e-procurement system to enhance transparency and efficiency;
* The establishment of the Procurement Dashboards in the Government Open Data portal (data.gov.ph) that provide citizens with easy access to information about contracted projects;
* The implementation of the Agency Procurement Compliance and Performance Indicator system that measures the procuring entities progress periodically;
* The professionalization of government procurement practitioners through the development of training modules and competency standards;
* The localization of procurement reform at the sub-national levels through the completion and launching of the LGU Procurement Manual and the Community Participation in Procurement Manual; and,
* The strengthening of the partnership with CSOs through the issuance of Procurement Observers Guide that provide importance to their participation as observers in the procurement process.
By conducting periodic country assessments through the CPAR process, government and development partners are able to harmonize and guarantee that all procurement procedures—whether for civil works, goods, consulting or non-consulting services—follow the quality standards of international good practices. In this case, the Philippine Bidding Documents for Works and Goods are harmonized with the standard bidding documents of development partners. These documents also include the Generic Procurement Manuals, as well as the LGU Manuals and the Community Participation in Procurement Manual.
WB Procurement Practice Manager Enzo de Laurentiis said, “The Philippine Government has been implementing a comprehensive reform to make governance work for inclusive growth. The procurement system has also made significant contributions to enhance public service delivery through more efficient and effective processes.”
Recently, the World Bank noted an increase in private sector confidence in the system as shown by the 74 percent rise in private firm registration with PhilGEPS compared with 2011 levels. The national average number of bidders also increased by more than 100 percent, from an average of two (2) in 2010 to an average of four (4) in 2013.