THE Procurement Service – Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) will resume entertaining new non-common use supplies and equipment (NCSE) contracts from state agencies only in 2025 as it is still improving its services.
PS-DBM Executive Director Dennis S. Santiago told lawmakers in a recent House of the Representatives hearing that the agency is implementing reforms to improve its services while focusing on its main mandate of procuring common-use supplies and equipment (CSE) for the national government.
It has been a year since the PS-DBM temporarily suspended its services of procuring NCSEs for state agencies.
It stopped accepting new NCSE requests from state agencies. Nonetheless, it is completing NCSE procurement contracts that are still within its pipeline prior to the suspension of the services.
Santiago said PS-DBM will “venture out” again procuring NCSE after the agency is done “reviewing” and “upgrading” its technical specifications.
“For the meantime, will focus on CSE so that we will be able to keep up with our mandate to centrally supply these goods to the whole of government,” he said.
Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette L. Garin asked Santiago if PS-DBM can resume doing NCSE procurement next year.
Santiago responded that they can resume “hopefully” procuring NCSE by 2024, but disclosed that the agency’s timeline is really by 2025.
“I am looking at 2025 so that we can prepare ourselves because there are still pending on-going procurements for other government agencies that are already being implemented plus our very own CSE. We really have to overhaul, so that we can serve the main mandate of the agency,” Santiago explained.
Santiago disclosed that as part of the PS-DBM reforms, the agency would be “selective” in the future in accepting NCSE procurement contracts.
He explained that PS-DBM would only accept NSCE procurements with complete budget, technical specifications and complete plans.
Citing a Government Procurement Policy Board resolution, Santiago said state agencies would no longer need to transfer funds in the PS-DBM for NCSE procurement. This means that the PS-DBM will just do the procurement on behalf of the state agency but the concerned agency will be the one directly paying the suppliers or contractors.
“As a procuring agent we can do this again for other agencies as long as it is within our capacity,” he said.
This wholesale transfer of huge funds—such as over P40 billion from the Department of Health to PS-DBM for pandemic supplies that the DOH is more familiar with—had been questioned during many hearings at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee then under Sen. Richard J. Gordon.
The PS-DBM was thrown into controversy in recent years after being involved in some procurements that were questioned by lawmakers like the infamous Pharmally contracts. Gordon’s report had called for prosecution of the DOH and PS-DBM officials as well as those of Pharmally.
The DBM earlier disclosed that the national government saved P681 million last year as a result of the reforms being made at the PS-DBM.