Issues in government procurement

I would often hear government employees complain about common use supplies in their offices. One particular item which is most commonly used is the ballpoint pen. If it does not write easily well, immediately the government employee thinks it is because government procures the cheapest that the market could offer.

In a radio program, Procurement Service Executive Director Atty. Estanislao C. Granados enlightened many people about a number of government procurement issues.

He clarified that the quality standards of the government’s Procurement Service are in accordance with Philippine quality standards established by the Department of Trade and Industry’s  Bureau of Product Standards. In fact, he said, government employees are issued branded office supplies, such as Pentel for markers, and gel pens.

Granados revealed that the Procurement Service has its own engineers who are specifically tasked to test the products. The ballpoint pen, for example, is tested by how long or how kilometric it could write, that is, from the time the paper starts to be marked with ink up until the ink runs out.

A round of staple wire, on the other hand, should be punched continuously or with-out jamming at least for the first 100 wires.

What most people do not know, however, is that 70% of the Procurement Service’s transactions are for non common use supplies such as uni-forms, shoes, and government vehicles.

This is where the big bucks are, some people would say.

With the enactment of the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) in 2003, there is a promise for better public service delivery through more transparent and accountable procurement.

It has become the overarching policy on procurement governed by the  principles of transparency, accountability, equity, efficiency, economy, competitiveness, equal opportunity, and effectiveness.


Best wishes to my childhood friends from Basilan, Noel Bonifacio and Jeng Jeng Sabdani, as they tie the knot at the Hardin ng Rosas, Malate, Manila.

Congratulations also to my niece, Karen Claire Wee Lim, for being crowned Miss Marikina 2012 last April 19, 2012 at the Marikina Sports Complex.

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