By Jovee Marie de la Cruz, January 18 2019; Business Mirror


Image Credit to Department of Budget

The majority leader of the House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to explain the P37-billion contract for consultants that the agency it bidded out last year.

In a news statement, Majority Leader Rolando B. Andaya Jr. said the DBM is not only procuring multibillion big-ticket infrastructure projects, but it has also morphed into a “one-stop megamall” where consultants can bid for billions of pesos in contracts.

Andaya said documents, now in possession of the House Rules Committee, show the DBM-Procurement Service was responsible for bidding more than P37 billion in government contracts for consultants in 2018.

“The biggest contract, worth P14.3 billion, is for Project Management Consultancy for the PNR South Long Haul Project of the North-South Railway Project. It was awarded on October 31, 2018,” he said.

He added almost P11.7 billion was also awarded for General Consultancy for Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1 (Valenzuela-Parañaque). It was awarded on October 18, 2018.

Andaya said another General Consultancy worth P11.7 billion was bidded for the Metro Manila Subway Project Phase 1 awarded on October 31, 2018.

“The P37-billion contracts for consultants were part of the P168-billion fund that the Department of Transportation obligated to the DBM-Procurement Service [PS] for bidding purposes,” he said.

According to Andaya, the documents on the multibillion-peso contracts bidded out by the DBM were turned over to the House Rules Committee by the executive director of DBM-PS, Bingle Gutierrez.

“This is quite alarming. A copy of the 2017 COA report on DBM-PS clearly spelled out the mandate of this office. To quote: The issuance of Administrative Order 17 dated July 28, 2011, reiterated to all government agencies that their procurement of common use supplies shall be done through PS and that the PhilGEPS shall be used in all their procurement activities, including publication of all their bid opportunities and posting of all their awards and contracts, in accordance with Republic Act 9184,” the lawmaker said.