Still no guidelines for the P41-B direct food purchase allocation in the 2021 budget: Pangilinan

Still no guidelines for the P41-B direct food purchase allocation in the 2021 budget: Pangilinan

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — The two-year delay in the issuance of guidelines for the
full implementation of Sagip Saka Act of 2019 has left hanging farmers
and fisherfolk who should benefit from the over P41 billion intended
for direct food purchases in the 2021 national budget, Senator Francis
“Kiko” Pangilinan said Thursday.

“Maganda sanang stimulus o pantulak itong P41 billion para sa
kabuhayan ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda, lalo na ngayong
pandemya. Nakapaloob itong malaking halagang ito sa national budget ng

  1. Aandar at gugulong ang ekonomiya sa kanayunan pag nagastos itong
    P41 billion para bilhin ang ani at huli ng ating mga magsasaka at
    mangingisda,” he said.

“Kaya lang, matatapos na ang taon at wala pa ring IRR o implementing
rules and regulations ng GPBB. May pera na nakalaan para direktang
makabili ang national agencies sa mga magsasaka pero nabibitin pa,” he
added, referring to the Government Procurement Policy Board.

Sagip Saka’s IRR provides that government agencies buying agricultural
and fisheries products follow the procedures for negotiated
procurement under the Government Procurement Reform Act or Republic
Act 9184.

The Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) is mandated to review
and amend its negotiated procurement guidelines to effectively
implement and support Sagip Saka.

GPPB, however, is yet to release the draft procurement guidelines even
though Sagip Saka’s IRR was signed two years ago or on October 2019.

At Wednesday’s Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the proposed DBM
budget for 2022, Pangilinan questioned the delay in the approval of
the guidelines needed for the implementation of a Sagip Saka provision
mandating national and local government agencies to purchase directly
from farmers and fisherfolk for feeding programs and the like.

“We have been hammering for the approval of the rules and guidelines
for direct purchases from farmers and fisherfolk… I hope they can
explain. This is long overdue. This is supposed to be for 2021
purchases. And we’re already ending 2021,” Pangilinan told the
hearing.

“They have been explaining and until now they are still explaining.
Really, there seems to be no sense of urgency. I hope that this is not
deliberate. I hope this was not [a case of] foot-dragging,” he added.

In July 2021, GPPB Executive Director Rowena Ruiz said that the GPPB
guidelines were still being reviewed.

In August 2021, GPPB targeted the release of the draft guidelines in September.

Despite these commitments, GPPB has only submitted the draft to the
members of the board last October 14.

“I have been very patient all throughout this year following this up
with your office but apparently, my patience has not [yielded] in any
result at this time,” Pangilinan said.

The GPBB commits to following up with its members yesterday (October 20)
to facilitate the submission of substantial comments.

The Senate Committee on Finance urges the GPBB to approve the
procurement guidelines before the DBM budget moves to plenary in
November.

“Sa pagkausap ko sa mga magsasaka natin, hindi naman sila humihingi ng
abuloy. May dignidad ang ating mga magsasaka. Hinihingi lang nila,
konting tulong para maipatas ang laban sa mga imported. Itong P41
billion sana ang stimulus para sa ating agrikultura. Madaliin natin
ito,” Pangilinan said. (ai/mtvn)

Leave a Reply