PS-DBM abolition sought anew

A lawmaker has called once again for the abolition of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management for its alleged involvement in anomalies including the multi-billion peso deal between Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. with the Philippine government at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel has filed House Bill 5748 which seeks to permanently close down the procurement agency as the Government Procurement Law of 2003, or Republic Act 9184 rendered it “irrelevant” and “unnecessary.”

“There’s absolutely no need for the Procurement Service, which has become wholly redundant, and which has merely served as a breeding ground for corruption,” said Pimentel, who also chairs the House good government and public accountability committee.

The lawmaker pointed out that all government agencies, since 2003, have been empowered to establish their own Bids and Awards Committees for their respective procurements through competitive bidding.

Should Congress and Malacañang approve the bill, the workforce behind the PS-DBM will receive separation benefits under the Government Reorganization Law.

He stressed that shutting down the PS-DBM through a congressional act would also give more meaning to the State’s constitutional mandate to take effective anti-corruption measures and to maintain honesty and integrity in public service.

Once enacted, all prior and current year advances for purchasing supplies, materials, and equipment not available in the Procurement Service’s inventory would be returned to the National Treasury.

Created and attached to the DBM in 1978 via Letter of Instruction 755, the procurement agency was established as an integrated purchasing system for the national government and its instrumentalities.

At the height of the pandemic, the PS-DBM was also embroiled in alleged irregularities in the buying of P42 billion worth of masks, face shields, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies for the Department of Health.

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