Procurement activities resume following health and safety precautions
After three months of quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, procurement activities for approved subprojects under the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in the Cordillera provinces resumed.
“These activities should have been conducted in the first quarter of 2020 if not due to this pandemic,” said Engr. Roiston Carame, Regional Project Coordination Office – CAR (RPCO-CAR) Procurement Officer.
Instead of holding the activity in a smaller conference room, the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of Benguet conducted the bid opening at the Ben Palispis Hall in the Provincial Capitol to observe the health and safety measures guidelines to prevent COVID-19 infection. The bid opening activity in the province of Apayao was likewise conducted in the Apayao Eco-tourism Sports Complex instead of conducting it at the Provincial Capitol Conference Hall. Health and safety measures such as disinfecting before entering the hall, wearing of face mask, and observing social distancing among others were followed throughout the duration of the activity.
“We are following a strict timeline especially with the issuance of No Objection Letters (NOL 1 or 2) so that subprojects will be implemented as scheduled. Now that these activities were finally conducted, we will employ necessary measures in coordination with the implementing units to be able to conduct the other procurement activities such as the preliminary evaluation and post-qualification of bidders,” said Engr. Carame.
Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Identification cards and Rapid Passes were issued to participating bidders and concerned LGU staff to be able to travel and attend the activities. However, some bidders were still not able to travel and submit their documents due to quarantine restrictions in their respective provinces.
In the past months, the retrieval and submission of Bid Evaluation Reports (BERs) and other procurement documents has been challenging since most of the signatories are either on a work-from-home or skeleton-work arrangement. Hence, the implementing units as well as the concerned staff from the RPCO-CAR have been strategizing ways on how to accomplish tasks despite varied quarantine restrictions imposed by local governments.
Meanwhile, meetings and transmission of documents are being conducted electronically to facilitate implementation processes amidst quarantine restrictions. ### ELVY S. TAQUIO, RPCO-CAR InfoACE