Embattled gov’t procurement service asks: Please trust the new admin
MANILA, Philippines — “Please trust the new PS-DBM (Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management ) administration,” its new Executive Director Dennis Santiago said Tuesday.
There are calls for PS-DBM’s abolition due to its involvement in several controversial purchases, such as the outdated and overpriced laptops for the Department of Education in 2021 and the personal protective equipment at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Santiago, in a statement, has vowed to bring back the agency to its “old glory,” touting the benefits of retaining the agency.
“Allow us to introduce and institute reforms in the PS-DBM. Hayaan ninyo kaming ayusin at linisin ang sistema at proseso dito,” he said in a statement.
(Let us fix and clean our system and processes here.)
“We want to bring back to PS-DBM its old glory. Higit sa lahat, nais naming manumbalik ang tiwala at kumpiyansa ninyo sa PS-DBM,” Santiago added.
(We want to reinstate the public’s trust and confidence in PS-DBM.)
Santiago said fixing and transforming the PS-DBM will not be “too technical and convoluted,” and the agency will only “go back to basics.”
Among the initiatives the agency intends to take are:
-targeted purchase of common-use supplies and equipment
-price development based on a realistic canvass
-the adoption of procurement and contracting modalities that are fit for the purpose
-supply chain management
-implementation of electronic procurement platforms, such as eBidding, eReverse Auction, and eShopping
-human resource development and capacity building
-implementation of green public procurement
-supplier partnership and management
Santiago asked for the help and cooperation of stakeholders and its employees to achieve the desired reforms.
“We will not institute reforms to impress. We will implement the reforms to set things right and to clean the systems and processes in the agency,” he said.
Santiago added that other factors must be considered in pushing for the abolition of PS-DBM.
“With all due respect, I think we need to strike a careful balance. I believe the calls must be tempered with the understanding that PS-DBM, along with its many dedicated and well-meaning employees, has ably served government for many decades now,” he said.
“Marami pong mabuting magagawa ang PS-DBM sa pamamagitan ng pagbili ng maayos at may-kalidad na mga produkto na palagiang ginagamit ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno,” Santiago added.
(The PS-DBM can do many good things by purchasing good and quality products that government agencies can use.)
He said there are many benefits to buying equipment in bulk such as the lower risk of duplication, lower prices, and the agencies can focus on their projects and programs.
DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman earlier asked lawmakers to give them a chance to “clean” PS-DBM.
Senator Imee Marcos was one of those calling for the abolition of the PS-DBM, which was created during the administration of her late dictator father Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Marcos had filed Senate Bill No. 1123 seeking to abolish the PS-DBM supposedly for being responsible for questionable procurement contracts in government.
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives has likewise filed a counterpart measure seeking to return government agencies the role of purchasing their common-use supplies, rendering the PS-DBM moot.