Gov?t eyes shorter bidding time for faster infra projects

Bidding time will be reduced, from 158 days to only 48 days in the government bid to allow its agencies to catch up with delayed implementation of important infrastructure projects such as roads and school buildings, Andaya told reporters here Friday.

In the Department of Budget Management website, it stated that the procurement process for infrastructure projects under the new system can now be undertaken within 43 calendar days to a maximum period of 70 days for those costing under P50 million.

For contracts costing more than P50 million, the maximum procurement period has been cut to 100 days, much shorter than the previous allowable time of 157 calendar days.

 

Andaya has chided government agencies that do not deliver on time their projects “because their absorption capacity to carry out those projects would be slow”.

 

Andaya cited the Department of Education, which, he said was able to finish only 20 percent of school buildings it has programmed to construct last year. To deal with this concern, Andaya said, they have changed strategy in the release of the budget.

 

Andaya said that the proposed 2007 budget encourages government agencies to make full use of their respective allocations by "spending” their budgets to improve their operations in keeping with "performance indicators" set up by the DBM.

 

Performance indicators, Andaya said earlier, will ensure that the programs and projects of the agencies concerned will be fully implemented.

 

He said the DPWH, which will get the bulk of the allocation for infrastructure at P49.2 billion, plans to build 1,024 kilometers of concrete roads and bridges. Its budget this year is 88 percent more than its 2005 allocation.

 

For 2007, DepEd plans to build 6,000 classrooms, purchase 42 million textbooks and hire new teachers to fill 10,900 entry teacher and principal positions.

 

Last month, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) submitted a proposed P1.126 trillion 2007 national budget.

 

In the 2007 budget, Andaya said government has reduced its debt service allocation, from P124.9 B last year to P63 billion. "For the first time in six years, we will be allocating less for debt service," Andaya said.

 

Andaya also said they have already devised a three-year cycle scheme in the allocation of the government's counterpart to foreign-sourced Official Development Assistance, which according to him, a big percentage goes to Mindanao.

 

Andaya said the government has enough cash, but has a very small spending limit this year because of the reenacted budget. He said they are expecting the 2007 budget to be approved by Congress. "This is the best take-off point in having a balanced budget in 2008," he said

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