By Bernadette D. Nicolas, January 23 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Philippine Star

The government posted P18.25 billion in terms of procurement savings in 2018, increasing by nearly five-fold from what was recorded a year ago.

This was a significant jump from the P3.2 billion worth of procurement savings in 2017.

A total of 463 procurement items for both common-use and non-common use supplies, infrastructure projects and consulting services were also completed by the Procurement Service (PS) in 2018, amounting to P198.8 billion, while a total of 215 procurement items were completed by the PS in 2017, amounting to P32.3 billion

Procurement savings are computed by comparing actual award costs with the approved budget for the contract or project estimates for foreign-assisted projects.

Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Wednesday their procurement reforms are “finally bearing fruit.”

“Moving forward, the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and PS will continue to ensure that our people get the most out of every peso that is entrusted to the government,” Diokno said.

“More so, we will make public procurement supportive of the efficient and transparent implementation of projects,” he added.

These reforms include the upgrading of the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System, which enabled the government to efficiently conduct its procurement activities.

Of the total procurement savings, P3.51 billion came from common-use supplies and equipment and 14.74 billion was recorded for non-common use items and equipment.

Accounting for the bulk of the procurement savings for common-use supplies and equipment are office supplies and equipment, which reached P2.01 billion. This was followed by IT software and licenses at P1.13 billion, consumables (P0.31 billion), airline tickets (government fares agreement program) at P0.05 billion.

Meanwhile, the distribution of procurement savings for non-common use items per agency is still being finalized by the Procurement Service, which is a self-sustaining government agency under the administrative supervision of the DBM.

But in terms of value for non-common use supplies procurement, the six big-ticket agencies are the Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Health, Department of National Defense, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Interior and Local Government.