Scrapping PS-DBM up to Congress, says budget chief

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2022 03:04 PM

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MANILA — The head of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) leaves it up to Congress to decide on calls to abolish its Procurement Service following allegations of irregularity against the office. 

"I defer to the wisdom of Congress if they wish to abolish," DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said on Wednesday. 

But Pangandaman also said she was counting on new PS-DBM head Dennis Santiago to reform the agency that buys supplies for government offices in bulk. 

Santiago helped craft the country's procurement law, she noted. 

"We will use e-procurement and e-shopping po for our procurement in the national government para po maging transparent. We can do live-streaming po," Pangandaman said in a press briefing. 
 
The official said she also eyed improving the procurement process with the help of the Government Procurement Policy Board. 

Pangandaman mentioned that the PS-DBM helped government save some P18 billion from 2017 to 2019, during the time of then-DBM secretary Benjamin Diokno. 

State auditors recently flagged the PS-DBM's purchase of some P2.4 billion worth of allegedly slow laptops in behalf of the education department. 

The PS-DBM also faced a Senate probe last year over alleged irregularities in the purchase of medical equipment from Pharmally at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Former President Rodrigo Duterte had denied the supplies were overpriced.

Some lawmakers, including those from the Makabayan bloc, filed a bill that sought to abolish the PS-DBM.