House bill seeks to abolish PS-DBM

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2021 01:53 PM | Updated as of Sep 20 2021 02:04 PM

MANILA - A lawmaker said Monday he has filed bill seeking to abolish the procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

A similar measure was filed in the Senate earlier this month as the chamber's Blue Ribbon Committee looked into the transfer of pandemic funds from the Department of Health and the allegedly overpriced medical supplies PS-DBM bought.

Under House Bill 10222, funds transferred or advanced by agencies to PS-DBM would revert back to the national treasury, according to the bill's author Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

It also mandates national government agencies to do their own procurement of supplies, he said.

Affected PS-DBM personnel would be paid separation and retirement benefits under existing laws, he added.

The PS-DBM, created during the Marcos administration, was undermined by the passage of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, Rodriguez said.

Should the measure be passed and signed into law, there would be a one-year transition period, during which the PS-DBM is tasked to take inventory of purchased supplies and deliver these to agencies. No further procurement by PS-DBM would be allowed.

Commission on Audit (COA) chairperson Michael Aguinaldo had agreed with several Senate proposals seeking to abolish the PS-DBM and the Philippine International Trading Corporation, saying the country needs to "change the way it procures common use supplies."

"From what I've seen, I would join the several bills filed seeking the abolition of PITC and PS-DBM," Aguinaldo said when asked for his opinion during a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation.

"I would support the measures that have been filed, changing the nature by which we procure common use supplies in particular by making it less susceptible to any kind of alleged corruption of the like," he said.

COA earlier flagged the transfer of P42 billion from the DOH to the PS-DBM without proper documentation.

Senate investigations later on found out that a portion of the fund was used to procure allegedly overpriced face masks and RT-PCR test kits from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

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