THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) ordered government agencies to conduct early procurement activities in the fourth quarter for 2019 projects, to speed up delivery upon the implementation of the General Appropriations Act.
“All government entities covered by this Circular shall undertake Early Procurement activities, from October to December 2018, upon the submission of the FY 2019 NEP to Congress,” the DBM said in a circular letter dated July 30, and signed by Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. NEP refers to the National Expenditure Program.
“To ensure efficient implementation of programs, activities, and projects, agencies shall undertake timely procurement planning and Early Procurement activities,” the circular read.
“Early Procurement shall be undertaken for the majority of the planned procurement of agencies as included in the NEP submitted to Congress. This ensures that all single-year projects shall be fully implemented within the validity period of the FY 2019 national budget,” it added.
Early procurement activities include pre-procurement conferences to post-qualification of bids and a recommendation by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to award contracts.
The proposed P3.757-trillion budget for 2019 will shift from a two-year obligation-based appropriation to an annual cash-based system, with allocations limited to the requirement for payments for goods delivered, services rendered, and infrastructure projects completed by the end of a fiscal year.
The circular covers all national government agencies including constitutional commissions, Congress, the Judiciary, Office of the Ombudsman, state universities and colleges, government-owned-or-controlled corporations, local water districts, and local government units.
Early procurement activities also include the harmonization of the indicative annual procurement plan (APP) for non-common-used supplies and equipment, the approval of the head procuring entity for the APP, the posting of the APP on government websites, and securing the Multi-Year Obligational Authority from the DBM for each multi-year project to start implementation in 2019.
It also includes the completion of appropriate preparatory activities, such as the accomplishment of feasibility studies, detailed engineering designs, securing the required regulatory clearances, and right-of-way acquisitions for civil works projects, among others.
Budget deliberations began on Tuesday at the House committee on appropriations. The Senate will start counterpart committee-level discussions on Aug. 7. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan