Gov’t expedites procedures for procurement of infrastructure projects

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, July 15 (PNA) — The Aquino administration is advancing the pre-procurement processes to accelerate the execution of priority infrastructure projects crucial for boosting the country’s economic growth.

At the Daylight Dialogue at Malacanang on Tuesday, President Benigno S. Aquino III stressed that the government is not performing actual procuring without the authority of Congress.

“The pre-qualification, the design, the invitation — well, the preparation of the invitation to bid — all of those steps that normally happen after you get the authority to spend, which takes between four to six months, we’re trying to cut that down so that they are ready to implement it by the time Congress approves our request to spend x amounts of money,” he explained.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said that in the 2015 budget, all agencies are required to start the procurement process this August.

“And they should be finished short of award by the end of the year. So that when the new budget takes effect, because we are now under a regime of what is called the budget as the released document, they don’t have to go to the department to ask for release of allotments, but automatically, the allotments take effect so that the awards and the notices to proceed begin on the first week of January,” he said.

The country aims to increase its infrastructure spending to over five percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2016.

“It’s about 3.5 percent currently already of GDP,” President Aquino said. (PNA)