PS-DBM turns over to NBI examined documents on purchased laptops  | Inquirer News
as well as other contracts entered into by the department in previous years

PS-DBM turns over to NBI examined documents on purchased laptops 

/ 05:55 PM August 12, 2022

The PS-DBM turned over to the NBI on Friday documents related to the procurement of DepEd's laptops, as well as other procurement contracts.

MANILA, Philippines — The Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), headed by its new Executive Director Dennis Santiago, turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday, documents related to the procurement of the Department of Education’s laptops, as well as other contracts entered into by PS-DBM in previous years that were the subject of Commission on Audit (COA) findings.

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“Isinumite po natin sa NBI ang mga dokumentong may kinalaman sa mga isyu na binigyang pansin ng COA upang maimbestigahan ng masusi ang mga ito. Patunay po ito na ang bagong administrasyon ng PS-DBM ay seryoso sa layuning matugunan ang audit findings ng COA, at malaman kung may irregularities ba ang mga ito o non-compliance sa umiiral na batas,” Santiago said.

(We have submitted to the NBI documents on the issue being raised by COA, which is asking to have it investigated. This proves that the new administration of PS-DBM is serious in addressing COA’s audit findings and knowing if there are indeed irregularities or non-compliance that had happened.)

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Santiago earlier directed his office to conduct a thorough examination of COA’s findings, emphasizing that the mandate of the PS-DBM is to ensure a transparent and competitive procurement process.

“The NBI is a highly competent investigation authority to take over the matter to ensure that the probe would be fair, impartial and independent. We do not want any room for suspicion,” Santiago said.

Santiago added that the move to request the NBI to step in was made after the examination showed alleged discrepancies in the initial findings, similar to COA’s observations.

“Maigi na ang NBI ang humawak para mahimay at masusing mabusisi ang mga dokumento, para rin makatutok ang mga empleyado sa trabaho at sa aming mandato,” Santiago said.

(The NBI should handle this so it can intensely examine the documents and our employees can also concentrate on our mandated work.)

“Ayaw po namin na ang bagay na ito ay patagalin pa. Maraming masisipag, mahuhusay at dedikadong empleyado ang PS-DBM na naaapektuhan ng usaping ito, kaya maigi pong humingi ng tulong sa NBI upang matugunan sa lalong madaling panahon ang pag-resolba sa isyu, at matukoy kung sino ang mga dapat panagutin nang naaayon sa batas,” Santiago underscored.

(We do not want these things to prolong. The PS-DBM has a lot of hard-working, excellent, and dedicated employees who have been affected by these issues. That is why it is best for the NBI to step in to help resolve this issue as soon as possible. Whoever should be held accountable should be identified.)

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Proposed abolition of the PS-DBM

On the same occasion, Santiago gave his stance on the call of some lawmakers to abolish the PS-DBM.

“We fully understand the sentiment of some groups and even by our own beloved legislators. We know where they are coming from as we share their sentiment on zero tolerance against irregularities in government transactions,” Santiago said.

However, Santiago added that these calls need to be balanced with the presence of honest and dedicated employees who have worked in the office for many years, coupled with the procurement efficiency and economy that PS-DBM provided to government agencies since 1978.

“Naniniwala ako na marami sa kawani ng PS-DBM ang nagtatrabaho ng may katapatan, husay, galing, talino at integridad. Karamihan sa kanila ay may pagtatangi at pagmamahal sa serbisyo, sa tao at sa bayan.” Santiago pointed out.

(I believe many people in the PS-DBM work honestly, with excellence, intelligence, and integrity. Most of them are set apart and dedicated to their job, the people, and our nation.)

The PS-DBM operates a centralized procurement system for common-use office supplies and equipment and has made procurement undertakings efficient amongst agencies and offices of the government for decades. It has also streamlined the procurement process with its Virtual Store, a centerpiece project of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), recognized by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

PS-DBM’s transformation

Instead of abolishing PS-DBM, the newly appointed executive director highlighted his call for the office’s transformation.

“I want to continue and push for procurement reforms that we supported in 2002, but these reforms should now shift to greater heights. Under my watch, I look forward to achieving “procurement transformation,” not only as to processes, procedures, and products that we procure but the overall transformation of PS-DBM relative to its structure, system, and human resource. I want a solid and overall transformation of PS-DBM,” Santiago said, adding that he owes this to the honest and dedicated employees of PS-DBM and the Filipino people.

Santiago promised to focus procurement on common use supplies and equipment (CSE), rationalize CSEs to include motor vehicles and other commonly procured goods, upgrade logistics and supply chain management, and streamline and run PhilGEPS to cover end-to-end eBidding, eShopping, and eReverse Auction Platforms, among others.

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TAGS: investigation, laptops, NBI, PS-DBM, transformation
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