Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party List Representative and House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva hails the House approval on 3rd reading on Monday of House Bill 6953, the bill extending the Bayanihan Law, which carries with it a provision mandating disclosure and transparency on procurements to be made by the government under the measure.
“On top of the billions of appropriations provided in the bill to fund the necessary and needed government programs aimed at social amelioration and recovery of the economy, CIBAC takes joy in the inclusion and approval of Section 3(t) which mandates that government must disclose all the procurements made in relation to its response efforts to the COVID-19 crisis. This will make sure that all contracts will be readily brought into the light of public scrutiny thus making it easy to trace any form of overpricing and corruption which is very detestable and unconscionable during these times wherein the entire country is grappling for survival,” says Deputy Speaker Villanueva, who is the House Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness Section 3(t) House Bill 6953 states that procurements of “(1) personal protective equipment, testing kits and supplies/equipment as maybe determined by the Department of Health, (2) good and services for social amelioration measures, (3) lease of real property or venue for use to house health workers or serve as quarantine centers, medical and relief aid distribution locations or temporary medical facilities, (4) establishment, construction and operation of medical facilities, (5) utilities, telecommunications and other critical services in relation to operation of quarantine centers and (6) other ancillary services related to the foregoing must be published in the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) online portal, the website of the procuring entity concerned and at any conspicuous place reserved for the purpose in the premises of the procuring entity within seven (7) days from the date of acceptance of award.” Further, it mandates that the disclosure shall include the “(1) project name, (2) approved budget for contract, (3) contract period, (4) name of winning supplier, distributor, manufacturer, contractor or consultant, (5) amount of contract as awarded, (6) Notice of Award, (7) date of award of acceptance, (8) contract purchase order, and (9) a certification that the procuring entity exerted all efforts to secure the most advantageous price to the government.” “We also hope this will be the birth and a prelude to the culture of genuine openness and transparency in the government which one of the pet legislations of CIBAC, the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, is aiming for. This is very empowering not only to Congress which exerts oversight in the execution of laws but, more importantly, to the Filipino people so they’ll know where and how their taxes are being spent,” adds the CIBAC solon.
On his part, CIBAC Representative Domeng Rivera also hopes that the provision will still be adopted when the corresponding Bayanihan 2 measures of both the House and the Senate are set for bicameral conference committee deliberations.
“Importante po talaga na maisama ang provision na ito sa magiging Bayanihan 2 law para masiguradong magiging transparent ang pag gastos ng gobyerno ngayong COVID-19 crisis. Bibigyan din ng probisyong ito ng pagkakataon ng pamahalaan na ipakita ang sinseridad at determinasyon nito na labanan ang korapsyon lalo ngayon na maraming serysosong alegasyon ng pagnanakaw ng kaban ng bayan ang ating nababalitaan,” says CIBAC Rep. Rivera.
The approved House Bill 6953 proposes a total appropriation of P162 billion to fund the various COVID-19 health protocol, social amelioration and economic recovery measures of the government.