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COA cited two reasons to doubt on the regularity and validity of the project’s bidding.

These are:

1. The BHS project did not qualify for the “short of award” or early procurement, as defined by the
Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB);

Justification:

THE CONDUCT OF BIDDING FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF CONSTRUCTION OF BARANGAY HEALTH


STATIONS-TSEKAP IN 3,200 PUBLIC SCHOOL SITES AMOUNTING TO Php 4,456,592,239.41 QUALIFIES
FOR THE ‘SHORT OF AWARD OR EARLY PROCUREMENT.

- It may be recalled that DBM Circular No. 2010-9 dated December 30, 2010 with the subject,
“Guidelines Directing Agencies to Expedite the implementation of their Procurement
Activities whereby pending the approval of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and/or
receipt of THE ALLOTMENTS (OBLIGATIONAL AUTHORITY) issued by DBM, agencies can start
undertaking the initial process of procurement activities. In fact, 5.5 clause of the said circular
also provides that, “even without receipt yet of the allotments issued by DBM, the procuring
entity shall proceed in conducting the procurement processes, starting from the procurement
planning up to the conduct of bidding.
- Section 4.2 of the Government Procurement Policy Board’s Circular No. 09-2015 allowed
procurement processes to be held “short of award” pending the approval of funding. The
GPPB rule was meant to allow early procurement for projects to get a headstart in
implementation before the enactment of the General Appropriations Act (GAA), as long as
the budget was based on the levels indicated by the Department of Budget and
Management’s (DBM) annual budget proposal called the National Expenditure Program
(NEP).
- The DOH actually requested the DBM to use unprogrammed funds in the 2015 GAA, which
was supposedly approved in a July 6, 2015 Cabinet meeting.
- During the pre-bid conference on the said procurement project, the COBAC announced that
there is no money yet but the agency is currently requesting for the approval of the DBM for
the realignment and subsequent issuance of the SARO. Also, Various communications were
sent to the DBM from June 15, 2015 to November 25, 2015 for the release of funds for the
construction of Barangay Health Stations. When the SARO [special allotment release order]
was released on December 29, 2015, the source of fund was not indicated. It must be stressed
that the DOH was under no obligation to inquire as to the source, and in fact had no authority
to question the decision or prerogative of the Office of the President and the DBM
[Department of Budget and Management] in determining the source of funds.
-The DOH likewise issued the notice of award to the winning bidder only upon receipt of the
Special Allotment Release Order (SARO).

 2. DOH failed to comply with the requirements of the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC)
memorandum on procurement for public facilities costing at least P1 billon.

-failure to submit documents “was merely a procedural lapse which will not affect the
purpose of the said ICC Memorandum on procurement.

The estimated cost per building unit was even found as reasonable based on the
conceptual plan submitted by the DOH to DPWH.