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Two House leaders shun proposal to abolish PS-DBM

Two House leaders from the administration bloc are not in favor of the proposal to abolish the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), which has been linked to government transactions flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA).

House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Representative Manix Dalipe and House appropriations panel vice chairperson and Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo said PS-DBM is created to aid the agencies in efficiently utilizing the appropriations granted to them by Congress, and should be allowed to continue serving such purpose.

The two gave this response at a press briefing on Tuesday when asked about the proposal to abolish PS-DBM, which has been involved in delayed delivery of around P95 million health and medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the purchase of P58,300 per unit laptop for teachers that had outdated processors, according to COA reports.

"Every budget hearing, tinatanong ng Congress [ang mga agencies], nagamit niyo ba ang pondo na in-allocate sa inyo? Pag hindi, mapapagalitan ang secretary, undersecretary pag hindi nila ginamit kasi taxpayers' money iyan, kailangan mo ma-utilize," Dalipe said.

(Agencies are asked every budget hearing, were you able to utilize your budget? If not, they will be scolded because they are supposed to disburse the taxpayers' money.)

"If there are problems on PS-DBM, there should be transparency in its processes. We should review PS-DBM's processes, tweak it to be more transparent for it to serve its purpose of helping agencies to use their funds," he added.

Quimbo agreed, saying the government's biggest problem every year is that there are agencies that fail to utilize their funds. 

"That is the history why PS-DBM was created under DBM, which expertise is really procurement...para iyong ibang agencies na walang capacity to do procurement in a swift manner, doon na niya ibibigay," she said.

(PS-DBM was created to help out agencies procure what they need in a swift manner because PS-DBM is a specialty unit.)

"Ang sa akin [for me], simple solution is transparency. Here in the House, we do livestreaming of our proceedings. Bakit hindi nila i-avail ang makabagong teknolohiya [why can't they use new technology] for a more transparent and more credible process?" she added. —KBK, GMA News