Gov’t Bidding Dropped for COVID-19 Needs

Stringent procurement rules have been eased for medicines, toiletries and testing kits, as well as for leasing quarantine facilities as the Philippines seeks to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The interagency Government Procurement Policy Board has given the go-ahead for the health department to undergo a negotiated procurement of “items needed to address the current state of public health emergency” as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A negotiated procurement allows a state agency to simply tap a “legally, technically and financially capable supplier” to produce the needed items or deliver the service, without the need for a competitive bidding that can take months to finish.

The relaxation of rules is a welcome development for the Department of Health, which has struggled to facilitate COVID-19 testing across a wider population due to lack of sufficient testing kits.

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