PS HISTORY A major procurement scam in 1975 led to the creation of a study team that was tasked to streamline and improve all existing procurement systems in the country. Then President Ferdinand E. Marcos deemed it necessary to institutionalize a system that would attain economy and efficiency in government procurement. The Project team was composed of the Agency heads of the then Budget Commission presently the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Finance, the Commission on Audit, and the University of the Philippines. The team was able to identify improvements in policy and procedure in government procurement that became the bases for the Procurement Pilot Project (PPP) on its operation of a centralized procurement of common suppliers, materials and equipment.
The Presidential directive led to the birth of the Procurement Pilot Project (PPP) on June 24, 1976, a project that tested the viability of centralized procurement of common use supplies for government agencies. The PPP was transformed into the Procurement Service (PS) by virtue of Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. 755 dated October 18, 1978, signed by President Marcos. Under the LOI, PS was attached to the Office of the President but was placed under the Ministry of Budget for administrative supervision purposes. The creation of PS was consistent with the adoption of a policy of procuring supplies and materials in the most economical and efficient manner, by purchasing directly from reliable sources in economic lot sizes, by observing optimum specifications and by making prompt payment.
With the issuance of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 285, signed by then President Corazon C. Aquino on July 25, 1987, the General Services Administration and its Building Services and Real Property Management Office and Supply Coordination Office were abolished. Its functions were absorbed by appropriate government agencies. The PS, for its part, absorbed its operation of a government-wide procurement system for common office supplies and the monitoring of prices. Two years after, on June 2, 1989, President Aquino issued E.O. No. 359 reiterating the policies spelled out in LOI 755 and E.O. 285 and prescribed the guidelines and procedures in the operation of the Procurement Service. The EO also gave way to the establishment of Regional Depots as part of the Procurement Service’s regular organizational structure.
The Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) With the coming of the information age, new technologies started to thrive. The passage of the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 provided the impetus for the establishement of e-government procurement under a global concept. In response to the challenge of e-government, the Pilot Electronic Procurement System (EPS), was launched on November 22, 2000 through E.O. No. 322, and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of E.O. No. 262 issued on October 10, 2000. The Pilot EPS is an integral part of the comprehensive government procurement reform program designed to improve transparency, efficiency and value for money. The pilot system now in place is an information site consisting primarily of a Public Tender Board, Electronic Catalogue, and a Supplier Registry.
The Pilot EPS serves as the central portal to advertise and distribute specifications for public bidding opportunities and also contains information related to doing business with the government such as rules and regulations, press releases, a directory of government agencies and contacts, planned and historical agency procurement, bid matching for suppliers, potential competitors, winning bidders, and a frequently asked questions section. Succeeding phases will make other aspects of the procurement process available to all stakeholders like the Virtual Store which supports online procurement of both common and non-common use items; the Electronic Payment; Charges and Fees which allows charges for system usage and downloading of bid documents; and, in the full implementation of the system, the Electronic Bid Submission module will allow prospective bidders to submit their tenders online.
In August of 2006, and enhanced version of the Pilot EPS was launched with more features and functionality. Now called the PhilGEPS, it is the central and definitive source of information on the procurement of common goods, general support services, civil works, and consulting services. Other phases of the system are now being developed to make the system more responsive to the needs of both government and suppliers and to support other aspects of the procurement process. The project was made possible with the assistance of the Canadian International Development Agency through the Policy, Training, and Technical Assistance Facility (PTTAF) on its initial phase.
The Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) The Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) or Republic Act No. 9184 was signed by Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on January 10, 2003. Its Implementing Rules and Regulations-A (IRR-A) took effect on October 08, 2003. The GPRA prescribes the procurement process for all government agencies. The GPRA also created the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) as the oversight authority in all government procurement. Also with the signing into law of Republic Act No. 9184, the Government Procurement Policy Board – Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO) was created. The GPPB-TSO provides research, technical and administrative support to the GPPB.
The Procurement Service Regional Depots Being the government’s overall “marketer”, PS has expanded its scope in terms of goods, materials and services it procures. The need to promote PS’ products and services has also expanded over the years reaching various areas in the Philippine archipelago. With the goal of providing every government agency quality common use supplies, materials and equipment at the lowest cost, the PS has established depots in various regions across the nation in accordance with EO No. 359. The very first depot that PS operated was established in June of 1998 and is located in Region V (Legaspi City). The next two depots were launched in March of 2004 in Region XI (Davao City) and the Province of Negros Occidental. The depot in the Cordillera Administrative Region (Baguio City) was launched in August of the same year while the depot in Region X (Cagayan de Oro City) was in September also of the same year. And the rest opened one after the other.
To date, a total of 13 depots are operational to include those in Cebu, Pampanga, La Union, Cagayan, Leyte, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte and the PS UP Warehouse in Quezon City. The depots are operated by the DBM Regional Offices. The only depot that is operated by a local government is the one in Bacolod which is under the supervision of Provincial Government of Negros Occidental. The 13 PS Regional Depots are now operating under a computer system (The Regional Depots Database System designed by the Regional Depot in CAR) that was designed to accelerate the daily operations of regional depots such as Delivery Receipts, preparation of price quotations, monitoring of available stocks, monitoring of out-of-stock items, and the issuance of official receipts.
The PX (Procurement Service Exchange) Commissary The PX Commissary is a store operated by government employee cooperatives within the premises of a government agency. The opening of the PX Commissary serves as a source for all government employees to avail of goods and other household items which are mostly priced lower than existing market prices. The establishment of PX Commissaries is pursuant to Executive Order No. 524 issued on April 10, 2006. Its operation is guided by Circular Letter No. 2006-06 which prescribes the necessary guidelines on how to operate a government commissary. The PX Commissary is part of the non-cash benefit that the present administration offers to government workers.
The PC ngBayan Project With the goal of providing every government employee or office an opportunity to finally own a computer, PS launched the “PC ngBayan” Project on June 20, 2005. The grand launching was held at the Tejeros Hall of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. The “PC ngBayan” was conceptualized as a research tool for the children of government employees and as a basic entry-level technical equipment for all government agencies, particularly the local goverment units (LGUs). Dubbed as “PC ngBayan” Project because of its affordability, it has become one of the top selling products of PS. The PC is sold at less than P17,000.00, printer included.
The Laptop ngBayan Project Following the success of the “PC ngBayan” project, the “Laptop ngBayan” project was launched. The Project, like the “PC ngBayan”, aimed to provide laptop computers at a very affordable price without sacrificing the quality of the product. In fact, the laptop units that PS is carrying are a lot cheaper than the laptops readily available in the market because the units are bought directly from the manufacturers. The PS started to offer the “Laptop ngBayan” Project in July of 2008 and these sold like hotcakes.
The Regional Inter-Agency Bids and Awards Committee (R-IABAC) The Regional Inter-Agency Bids and Awards Committee (R-IABAC) was created on December 18, 2006 to help generate economic activity all over the country. The R-IABACs were created to provide in-house Bids and Awards Committees support to serve the requirements of PS Regional Depots. It was established to bring the procurement activities of common-use goods to the regions by giving opportunities to local manufacturers, suppliers and dealers to the supply of their products.
Since the R-IABACs are envisioned to have the same composition and processes observed by the IABAC, its membership consists of different Director-level representatives from different Department Regional Offices holding office in the same region. Most of the R-IABACs now operating have conducted successful biddings and were able to purchase for their respective depots. The creation of the R-IABACs necessitated the creation of a team to traffic the communication between and among the various R-IABACs and the IABAC. In addition, it needed a team to facilitate the flow of activities of the R-IABACs. In response to this need, PS created the R-IABAC Coordination Unit. The R-IABAC Coordination Unit ensures the smooth flow of bidding activities in all the R-IABACs.
The Procurement Service Regional-Sub Depots The operationalization of the PS Regional Depots has led to the opening of PS Regional Sub-Depots to bring the services of PS closer to its clientele. The goal is to open one sub-depot in every province so that every province would have a depot by 2010. The successful operation of the Bacolod City depot in Negros Occidental served as an inspiration for PS to pursue this objective. of August 2008, four Regional Sub-Depots have already been opened in the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, and Palawan. It is expected that a few more Regional Sub-Depots shall have opened before the end of 2008, namely: Mt. Province; Biliran Province; Ormoc City; Misamis Oriental; Quezon Province; Davao del Sur; Lanao del Norte; and Bukidnon. By 2010, a total of 81 provincial sub depots shall have opened.