The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday clarified that its recent order stripping some administrative and financial decision functions from some of its key attached agencies is meant to streamline processes within the department.
In a statement, the DOTr said its Department Order (DO) 2023-007 “is an internal policy intended to streamline administrative and procurement processes within the department and its sectoral offices to promote faster internal financial processes in accordance with existing guidelines.”
The DO in question dated February 28, titled “Delegation and Delineation of Authorities in the DOTr Central Office and its Sectoral Project Management Offices (PMOs),” the Transportation Department specified the scope and limitations in all administrative matters, as well as procurement processes for programs, activities, and projects; disbursement and fund under the General Appropriations Act; and approval of other matters concerning the said offices.
The order limited the administrative, procurement, and disbursement authorities of its attached agencies, namely Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), DOTr Regional Offices in Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) and CARAGA, Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Philippine Railways Institute (PRI).
The DOTr described the DO 2023-007 as “a more simplified version of an earlier order that defines particular accountability points and addresses previous overlaps and ambiguities.”
It said that the order was a product of a number of consultations within the DOTr.
“The DOTr stands ready to work with stakeholders, including the Anti-Red Tape Authority to ensure the efficiency of its internal systems and procedures, complemented by process re-engineering, streamlining and digitization, consistent with the directives of the President,” it said.
The DOTr said the latest DO adheres to all pertinent laws and promotes ease of doing business. It explained that:
- Procurement is a specific function entrusted to DOTr by law or regulation, and not to subordinate units. Executive Order (EO) No. 292 provides that with respect to functions of subordinate units involving discretion, experienced judgment or expertise, the DOTr Secretary’s exercise of control remains in accordance with applicable laws
- DO 2023-007 did not, in any way, divest LTO/LTFRB of its authority to conduct procurement projects as it recognizes’ sectoral agencies’ “authority as procuring entity for projects with approved budget for contract of up to P50,000,000” as they are still authorized to procure items up to P50 million
Sought for comment, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier said the latest order pertains to “internal matters” of the DOTr.
“[W]e review policies and procedures to implement good governance practices, with assurance that there will be no delays in the delivery of services to the public,” Bautista said. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News