Andaya accuses Diokno of another insertion

January 21, 2019

CAMARINES Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. yesterday accused embattled Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno of another “insertion” by revising the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Government Procurement Reform Act to allegedly transform the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) into a “super-bidding body.”

Andaya, who relinquished his House Majority Leader post to Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro yesterday, bared this during the resumption of the House committee on rules’ probe on Diokno’s questionable budget practices.

Based on the documents turned over to the panel by executive director of DBM-Procurement Service, Bingle Gutierrez, Andaya bared last Thursday that the government will spend at least P37 billion to pay the consultants of big-ticket infrastructure projects that a small office of Diokno bidded out last year.

Last Wednesday, Andaya accused Diokno of turning his department into a “super-bidding body” and allegedly bidding out P198-billion worth of projects last year for 20 different government agencies that form part of the Build, Build, Build Program, including P168.275-billion from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Andaya yesterday motioned and approved by lawmakers in the plenary the transfer of the investigation on Diokno’s controversies from the House committee on rules to the House committee on appropriations that he will now head.

Diokno consistently and vehemently denied all the allegations by Andaya against him.

Andaya lamented that Diokno in 2016 amended the IRR of the Government Procurement Reform or Republic Act (RA) 9184 where it exclusively allows that the bidding should be done only by agency where the appropriation in the national budget is allocated.

“Hindi lang sa NEP (National Expenditure Program) may insertions ang DBM. Mayroon ding inserted provisions sa IRR para baluktutin ang mga probisyon ng RA No. 9184,” said Andaya, author of RA 9184 and a former Budget secretary.

“Maliwanag po sa RA 9184. Yung procurement ng isang departamento, batay sa Annual Procurement Plan niya o APP. Fixed ito at hindi pabago-bago dahil nakabatay sa plano. Kung nasaan ang pondo, siya rin ang magsasagawa ng procurement o bidding activities. Hindi raw puwedeng mag-procure o magpa-bid kung labas sa Annual Procurement Plan ng departamento,” said Andaya.

But in the amended IRR, Andaya said Diokno as chairman of Government Procurement and Policy Board (GPPB) allegedly pushed the amendments under IIR Rule II Section 7.3 of RA 9184 to allow the procuring entities which may not have the proficiency or capability to undertake a particular procurement to outsource the task aimed at hastening the project implementation.

“Sa insertion na ito, deretso nang sinasabi sa mga departamento na puwede nilang ipasa ang bidding ng kanilang mga proyekto sa ibang procurement entity kung wala silang proficiency o capability na magsagawa ng bidding. Dahil dito puwede nang ipasa ng DOTr ang bidding sa PS-DBM kung sa tingin nila ay mas proficient o capable ang nasabing opisina kaysa sa kanila,” said Andaya.