Gonzales backs proposed changes to procurement law

House Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. on Tuesday met with officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways to gather inputs and refine proposed amendments to Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the “Government Procurement Reform Act.”

Gonzales explained the meeting was organized even while Congress was on recess to discuss loopholes and improvements in the government procurement law.

“If you want to amend (RA 9184), we are open to that. We can discuss the most suitable formula or solution to facilitate procurement process,” Gonzales told DPWH regional officials.

The procurement law was enacted some 20 years ago and Gonzales is now among the prime movers to amend it and craft the proposed “Bagong Pilipinas Procurement Act.”

“It’s such a great honor to be involved in this move to introduce innovation to our procurement law. This is highly important that’s why I am not taking a break, doing the extra work and even when Congress is on recess,” Gonzales said.

“The fast-paced change in modern times and current trend in the procurement process require adaptive and innovative systems, and processes for more transparent, faster, and more efficient procurement system,” he said.

Gonzales has filed several proposed amendments to RA 9184 in previous Congresses. In the 19th Congress, three measures are pending in the Committee on Revision of Laws with the same intent.
Gonzales said he will pursue the following amendments to the existing law, inclusing the increase of pre-bidding conference threshold from P1 million to P100 million and reduction of the entire process from 72 calendar days down to 34 calendar days.

In addition, only one posting for the notice of award and notice to proceed (NTP) with the attachment of the contract shall be required within 15 calendar days from the issuance of the NTP.

Section 25 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9184 shall also include the phrase “unless delegated to the BAC (Bids and Awards Committee) Secretariat.”
Antonio Molano, DPWH Undersecretary for Operations, said that though government procurement has become faster with RA 9184, post-qualification requirements sometimes delay the procurement process.

Molano urged Gonzales to consider the inclusion of a provision in the proposed measure allowing the use of technology to speed up the process during the evaluation and post-qualification stages of procurement.

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