President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 18, s. 2017 to fast track procurement projects of the Department of National Defense (DND) for Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization, and other projects for DND attached agencies like Office of Civil Defense, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
The order, repealing former President Gloria Arroyo’s EO 235, s. 2003, was signed April 7. “Except for contracts required by law to be acted upon and/or approved by the President, the Secretary of National Defense shall have the authority to sign and/or approve Government contracts of the Department of National Defense and any of its bureaus, offices or agencies, before the Government contract shall be considered approved in accordance with law and binding on the Government: Provided, however, that the Secretary of National Defense may delegate in writing to appropriate officials, subject to appropriate ceilings, this authority to sign and/or approve a Government contract below Fifty Million Pesos (P50 Million), as he sees fit under the circumstances: Provided, further, that for Government contracts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines involving an amount below Fifty Million Pesos (50 Million), the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines shall have full authority to sign the same,” said in Arroyo’s EO.
Arroyo’s EO limited the authority of the Secretary of National Defense (SND) to delegate approvals of procurement contracts. Arroyo’s EO established a single Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for the AFP General Headquarters.
“It has been observed that the implementation of EO No. 235 resulted to the bureaucratic impediments and unnecessary delays in the procurement of important defense projects,” President Duterte said in his EO.
“Since the issuance of EO 235, the Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and its civilian bureaus and agencies have identified and operationalized other reform measures to promote transparency, impartiality, and accountability in procurement transactions,” states in EO 18.
Duterte also mandates the Secretary of Defense to identify and institutionalize measures that would effectively monitor the operations of the separate bids and awards committees, which may be created pursuant to Republic Act 9184, to ensure and promote transparency, impartiality and accountability in procurement transactions.
“All defense procurement contracts, including those presently being processed and/or reviewed, shall hereafter be reviewed and/or processed in accordance with RA 9184, as amended by EO No. 645, s. 2007,” Duterte said in the order.
Republic Act 9184 is the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003.
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