Politics

House bill seeks abolishment of PS-DBM

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A LAWMAKER has filed a bill to abolish the budget department’s procurement arm, which had been flagged by state auditors and probed by Congress over questionable purchases of medical supplies and overpriced laptops.   

House Bill 5748 seeks to abolish the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) and provide affected employees with separation benefits under the Government Reorganization Law.  

“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 Rep. Johnny T. Pimentel said in a statement on Sunday.   

The PS-DBM, which is primarily tasked to run a centralized procurement system for common supplies and equipment of government agencies, was flagged by the Commission on Audit for its purchase of P2.4 billion of slow and outdated laptops for the Department of Education. A separate report questioned the agency’s procurement of P1.39 billion worth of personal protective equipment for the Department of Health.   

Under the proposed measure, all prior year’s and current year’s advances for purchases for supplies, materials and equipment not available in the procurement service’s inventory will we returned to the National Treasury.  

Mr. Pimentel, who is vice chair of the House good government and public accountability committee, said the Government Procurement Reform Law of 2003 rendered the PS-DBM unnecessary.  

“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,” he said. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo