Business World

House bill seeks to abolish Budget procuremen­t arm

- — Russell Louis C. Ku

A BILL that seeks to abolish the Budget department’s Procuremen­t Service, which the Senate is investigat­ing for contracts that allegedly disadvanta­ged the government, has been filed at the House of Representa­tives.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez filed House Bill 10222, which will transfer the procuremen­t of common-use supplies to agencies.

The congressma­n said the Government Procuremen­t Reform Act has made the Procuremen­t Service “redundant and irrelevant.” Under the law, government agencies were mandated to create a procuremen­t board and form their own bids and awards committees.

He said the Budget department’s procuremen­t arm was created to take advantage of economies of scale by handling purchases of common-use supplies and equipment.

Senator María Imelda “Imee” Josefa R. Marcos filed a counterpar­t bill on Sept. 9, noting that the Budget office had become “a fertile breeding ground of graft and corruption.”

In a separate statement, Mr. Rodriguez cited the office’s “many issues and controvers­ies.”

“The Procuremen­t Service-Department of Budget and Management has also been hounded by allegation­s of improper procedure and overpriced acquisitio­ns,” he said.

The Budget department’s Procuremen­t Service has come under fire after it entered into P8.68 billion worth of government contracts for overpriced face masks and other medical supplies with Pharmally Pharmaceut­ical Corp.

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