Andaya: DBM’s ‘small office’ is not mandated to bid out multi-billion contracts
MANILA, Philippines — Documents gathered by the House rules panel have shown that in 2018 alone, the Department of Budget Management Procurement Service (DBM-PS) conducted the bidding of more than P37-billion government contracts for consultants, Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said Thursday.
The Camarines Sur congressman earlier questioned why the “small” DBM office facilitated the bidding of P198-billion worth of government contracts in 2018, which is not part of their mandate. This, he said, includes P168-billion major projects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
The P37-billion contracts for consultants were part of the P168-billion fund that the Department of Transportation obligated to the DBM-PS for bidding purposes, he added.
Of the P37-billion contracts, Andaya said the biggest was the P14.3 billion worth Project Management Consultancy for the Philippine National Railway South Long Haul Project of the North-South Railway Project which was awarded on Oct. 31, 2018.
Almost P11.7 billion was also bidded for General Consultancy of Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1 (Valenzuela-Parañaque) which was awarded on Oct. 18, 2018, according to the former budget chief.
Another General Consultancy worth P11.7 billion was bidded for the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1 and was awarded on Oct. 31, 2018, he further said.
Andaya said the documents on the multi-billion contracts were turned over to the rules committee when the executive director of DBM-PS, Bingle Gutierrez, testified during Tuesday’s inquiry.
“Para talagang megamall na ng kontrata ang DBM. Hindi lang mga contractors at suppliers ang pumipila sa DBM para makakuha ng kontrata. Pati pala mga consultants, pumipila na rin doon,” he said in a statement.
‘Not part of its mandate’
Andaya cited a 2017 Commission on Audit report on DBM-PS which spelled out the mandate of the unit under Administrative Order No. 17 dated July 28, 2011. The order reiterated that the DBM-PS should facilitate the procurement of common use supplies of all government agencies.
While Guttierez cited the Republic Act 9184, or the Procurement Law, as their legal basis for conducting the bidding for other department’s big-ticket projects, Andaya claimed the law does not say anything about the office’s mandate.
“Malinaw ang pagkakasulat ng batas. Malinaw din ang records ng deliberations namin sa paggawa ng nasabing batas. Wala po sa nasabing batas ang mandate ng DBM-Procurement Service,” he added. /jpv
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