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DTI’s Lopez supports procurement preference for domestic manufacturers

THE next administration should consider changing government procurement rules to favor domestic manufacturers in some cases, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“Maybe in the next administration, what can be worked out is a refinement of this lowest-bidder rule to make sure that in certain projects, not necessarily in all government procurement programs, there will be a preference that only local manufacturers can participate in the bids, provided that the supply is available and the prices are competitive,” Mr. Lopez said during the Manufacturing Summit 2022 on Tuesday.

“There can just be benchmarking with the prices from abroad just to make sure that the prices are within range. That is what we are trying to inject in the current policy,” he added.  

According to Mr. Lopez, the current rule in government procurement is awarding the contract to the lowest bidder, as spelled out in Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Mr. Lopez said an amendment is needed to grant some preference for domestic manufacturers, in line with a resolution passed by the Task Group on Economic Recovery that is implementing the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS).

“You have to amend the law. While the law has yet to be amended, maybe it can be done by changing the terms of reference of some government procurement projects through this NERS resolution that hopefully can be adopted by the President and issue as an executive order,” Mr. Lopez said. 

Mr. Lopez said that some opportunities for Philippine manufacturers lie in supplying clothing and shoes to the military and police. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave