Cong Johnny out to get rid of Procurement Service, calls it ‘breeding ground for corruption’ – Manila Bulletin
A ranking congressman has filed a bill that, if enacted, would abolish the Procurement Service (PS)–the highly controversial office behind the P2.4-billion overpriced purchase of second-rate laptops for public school teachers.
“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,” Surigao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Johnny Pimentel, House Good Government and Public Accountability Committee vice chairman, said.
Under Pimentel’s House Bill (HB) No. 5748, the PS would be abolished and affected employees would receive separation benefits under the Government Reorganization Law.
In the bill’s explanatory note, Pimentel pointed out that the Government Procurement Reform Law of 2003, or Republic Act (RA) No. 9184, had rendered the PS totally irrelevant and unnecessary.
“All government agencies, since 2003, have been empowered to establish their own Bids and Awards Committees (BACs) for their respective procurements through competitive bidding,” said Pimentel, who is also a member of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) in the House of Representatives.
“The Procurement Service’s shutdown via an act of Congress would also give more meaning to the mandate of the Constitution for the State to take effective measures against corruption, and to maintain honesty and integrity in public service,” the Mindanaoan said.
Once enacted, all prior year’s and current year’s advances for the purchase of supplies, materials, and equipment not available in the PS inventory would revert to the National Treasury.
The PS was created and attached to Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in 1978 via Letter of Instruction (LOI) No. 755, which established an integrated purchasing system for the national government and its instrumentalities.
At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the PS was also embroiled in alleged irregularities in the buying of P42 billion worth of face masks, face shields, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies for the Department of Health (DOH).
The good government panel is the House equivalent of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Both panels investigate alleged corruption in the bureaucracy.
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