Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Training on Community Participation in Procurement
“Improving the Quality and Responsiveness of Public Spending in Poor Communities through Localized Procurement Reform”

One hundred eighteen (118) participants which composed of Barangay Officials, CSOs, NGOs, and local constituents from Amulung, Cagayan had  attended a seminar-workshop entitled “Training on Community Participation in Procurement” with the theme Improving the Quality and Responsiveness of Public Spending in Poor Communities through Localized Procurement Reform” at St. Paul University Philippines, Tuguegarao City last August 28-30, 2013.  This engagement  was implemented  by St. Paul University Philippines – Knowledge for Development Center (SPUP-KDC) in partnership with Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN)and Government Procurement Policy Board-Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO) supported by the Japan Social Development Program through the World Bank (WB).  The training joined by the live-in participants aimed to a) promote the adoption of transparent and participatory procurement mechanisms for the delivery of poverty reduction programs in at least disadvantaged municipalities in the Philippines b) institutionalize  public procurements processes in poor communities c) localize  procurement reform at the municipal level and d) appreciate local project management.

SPUP President, Sister Remy Angela Junio, SPC, as she welcomed the guests and participants, emphasized the value of cooperation and partnership to engage in social accountability advocacy.  She is hopeful that after this engagement, each participant shall have been capacitated to practice and promote the expected objectives of the training.

Mr. Vincent Lazatin, the TAN Executive Director, elucidated the project rationale to further intensify the participants’ perception in localize procurement. He also pointed out that this endeavor is well-timed with the current issues on the pork barrel of the legislators.  Localize community-driven projects can be an alternative scheme in maximizing the implementation of the frozen funds intended for the PDAF of the law makers.

The Municipal Budget Officer, Ms. Judith Dela Cruz, introduced the participants coming from the 10 different barangays of Amulung, Cagayan.  To set the tone of the three-day fruitful training, Dr. Rosalinda Tanguilan, the Local Project Coordinator of the said activity upsurge the level of expectations of the participants.

            Dr. Jesus Pizarro, the first resource speaker, discussed the principles of Social Accountability (SAc).  The importance and value of SAc within the context of good governance, tools and approaches, commitment to SAc, action plans to address current problems, and building partnerships were highlighted by Dr. Pizarro. 

            Meanwhile, a Department of Budget Management representative, Mr. Rey Villon, discussed the general provisions and revisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA).  The Republic Act No. 9184 is an act providing for the modernization, standardization and regulation of the procurement activities of the government and for other purposes.

            The second day started with a creative recapitulation initiated by the participants.  Ms. Jo-Anne Galiza and Mr. Alejo Cambri Jr. shared the topics on Community Participation on Procurement Manual (CPPM).  The legal references, key aspects and guiding principles to community participation were expounded by the two resources speakers.

            To provide the participants with understanding on the roles of the different committees such as PPMC, PPC, MIC and CRFC, Mrs. Judith Dela Cruz stressed the steps to be undertaken by the barangay in preparation for the community procurement and the basic requirements needed for the community to participate as a contractor or service provider.

            Planning workshop for Barangay 53.12 Procurement highlighted the third day of the training.  Each barangay were tasked to portray the actual processes of community participation in procurement based from the actual development priorities of their respective locality.  Mr. Byron Abadeza, TAN Project Coordinator   and Mr. Dodjie Aumentado, WB Senior Procurement Specialist responded to the queries of the participants  right after the presentation.

            A parallel session for Resource Mobilization and CSO Observer’s Guide to Public Procurement were conducted by Mr. Allen  Cambri and Mrs. Dela Cruz respectively.  The former was attended by the Barangay Officials to increase their awareness in possible ways they can mobilize resources for procurement activities while the latter was attended by the CSOs and NGOs to internalize their responsibilities, rights and accountabilities in 53.12.

            The participants shared their reactions, comments and suggestions on 53.12. They are hopeful that this training will strengthen their community participation in procurement leading to proper implementation of upcoming development projects.   The training ended with the distribution of certificates to the resource speakers and participants.

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