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Saro removal benefits PH, Palace says

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:26 PM January 03, 2014
Abigail Valte

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—With the abolition of the Special Allotment Release Orders (Saro), the government can now speed up building their major infrastructure projects, a sure benefit for the country, the Presidential Communications Operations Office said.

“It will be easier for them (agencies) to front-load projects, at least ideally within the first week of January, you can already award projects,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a Malacañang press briefing on Friday afternoon.

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In the current system, Valte said, agencies can conduct their pre-procurement activities immediately after the approval of the national budget and now wait for several weeks before starting the process.

She added that agencies can start issuing the notice of award to contractors by the first week of January.

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Before, Saros served as the go-signal of projects which normally took several weeks to be processed.

Valte said that, with the abolition of Saros, government agencies are now more transparent and responsible.

“At the same time, they have to follow the legal process when it comes to procurement, disbursement, and liquidation,” Valte said. “This safeguard is in addition to the audit and assessment being done by the Commission on Audit.”

Valte, however, said that special purpose funds and lump sum funds still need a Saro given their lump sum figure.

Funds that still need a Saro are calamity funds since the law mandates certain criteria that should be met before a request is approved.

She added that the Department of Budget and Management is already in the process of computerizing the issuance of Saros for lump sum items.

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TAGS: Abigail Valte, Malacañang, Nation, special allotment release order
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