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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to improve government procurement law.

MANILA – Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Ramon Lopez is recommending to the next administration that Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, be amended to include measures that favor local producers in government procurement.

Lopez said the future administration can refine the “lowest bid” provision in RA 9184, which will allow local enterprises to offer goods and services to the government, during the 7th Manufacturing Summit in Makati City on Tuesday.

Because imported products, particularly those from China, are cheaper, the government procurement law’s “lowest bid” provision may be a disadvantage to indigenous industries.

“Assuming that supply is accessible and that pricing is reasonable. Benchmarking with overseas prices from other countries can simply be done to ensure that prices are within a reasonable range “Lopez remarked.

According to him, the Task Force Group on Economic Recovery-National Employment Recovery Strategy (TGER-NERS) issued a resolution allowing only local manufacturers to participate in a government procurement program in order to boost local industry activity and jobs.

“While the law has yet to be altered, we believe that this NERS resolution, which will hopefully be adopted by the President and issued as an executive order, could change the terms of reference of several government procurement projects. It’s as though RA 9184 is sitting next to it “On the sidelines of the event, he said.

The DTI chief suggested that this could be done in response to the government’s demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) to support local PPE manufacturing, which responded to the government’s call to set up PPE production facilities to meet local needs during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the country had only one face mask manufacturer and none for other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and gowns.

Another area where bidding may be restricted to Filipino businesses is the provision of uniforms for uniformed staff.

According to Lopez, there is plenty of supply in the local market, and this move will help to boost the local garment and shoe sectors.

“Other simple basic requirements include locally available office tools (and) equipment. The issue is that we have become accustomed to importing “He told reporters about it.

Lopez went on to say that devoting 20% of government procurement projects to Filipino businesses might assist the country’s economy flourish.

“There are numerous methods to assist the local industry,” stated the outgoing DTI director.

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