By CNN Philippines Staff, August 25, 2023; CNN Philippines

Metro Manila — The Marcos administration is set to have its own online marketplace similar to e-commerce giants Shopee and Lazada for the government’s acquisition of trillion-pesos worth of supplies and equipment, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In a statement on Thursday, the DBM said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was “very keen” on pursuing the idea.

Budget chief Amenah Pangandaman said the platform, “eMarketplace,” is part of the proposed amendments to Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA).

The eMarketplace seeks “to do away with the long, tedious procurement process that has caused delays in the government’s delivery of products and services,” the DBM said.

While the GPRA served as “one of the biggest anti-corruption laws” in the Philippines, Pangandaman said the accelerated digital transformation and transactions, particularly witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompted the government to upgrade how to deal with processes.

“That’s why our president is correct that we need to make government procurement more attuned to our changing times,” she noted.

“Procurement affects us every day, not just us the government, but the Filipino people. Procurement issues have an adverse impact on public service delivery. We have also been hounded by controversies linked to the Philippine procurement system. Of our total national government budget, up to 25% is done via procurement. So, this year, it’s roughly ₱1.3 trillion. It’s a huge amount,” Pangandaman added.

Procurement Service (PS)-DBM Executive Director Dennis Santiago explained that the current administration would replicate Shopee and Lazada’s business model, where a qualified government supplier would be allowed to place their items on the eMarketplace.

Santiago said the government would ensure that the products available on the platform would be in good shape and beneficial for government offices.

The DBM said suppliers would still be required to comply with identified legal, technical, and financial requirements to be able to include their offered goods in the system.