The Philippine budget department will host three new functionalities in its e- procurement portal by the end of the year to increase transparency in government procurement and bring convenience to procuring. Rosa Maria Clemente, director of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) group of the Procurement Service under the Department of Budget and Management told FutureGov the PhilGEPS is set to launch an e-bidding, expanded supplier registry and e-payment features.
PhilGEPS is accessible via http://www.philgeps.net.
“Later this year we will be implementing e-payment so the suppliers can already pay online for PhilGEPS certificate of registration as well as bidding documents . An expanded registry will allow suppliers to submit their eligibility documents such as Department of Trade and Industry or Securities and Exchange Commission registration and mayor’s permit online.”
Moreover, e-Bidding will allow suppliers to submit their technical and financial proposals online, allow the bidding and awards committee to record bid evaluation online so the information will be transparent not only to the bidders but also to the civil society organisation, auditors and to the public, she added.
In August, President Benigno Aquino III has mandated the use of the PhilGEPS for all government agencies and local government units in the country in all their purchases.
The move will translate into Php585 million (US$13 million) accumulated savings from newspaper advertising cost and Php2 billion (US$47 million) savings in terms of procurement costs.
Clemente said the directive thru Administrative Order 17 reiterates the provision of the Government Procurement Reform Act which set forth policies on transparency, competitiveness, streamlined procurement process, system of accountability and public monitoring of government procurement.
“If there is transparency we will be able to increase market competition which results in getting more quality service and better prices.”
The President’s order, reiterates the use of the PhilGEPS in the posting of all agencies’ procurement activities –from publication of bid opportunities to posting of awards and contracts, she added.
PhilGEPS presently offers five functionalities namely, Electronic Bulletin Board, Supplier’s registry, electronic catalogue, automatic bid notification and Virtual store.
There are over 11,000 government agencies and over 50,000 suppliers registered in the system.
In implementing the e-procurement system nationwide, Clemente said a government procurement law must be mandated and a policy making body should be formed.
“Not only the technology is needed; it must be coupled with a law that mandates the procurement entities to use the system. If there is no e-procurement law in the Philippines, not as much of the entities will comply.”
Clemente likewise stressed the importance of the training programmes on using PhilGEPS. She said the government trains a national pool of trainers coming from the different regions in the country.
“The civil society organisations must also be trained in using the system in order for them to monitor the procurement in the government. We have already outsourced the administration of our training to a private service provider because it needs to be conducted regularly,” she said.