‘Filipino First,’ a must in PHL procurement system: Tolentino

Government offices should give preference to the purchase of locally-manufactured materials as well as Filipino suppliers of services, Sen. Francis “Tol” Tolentino on Thursday said.

Tolentino introduced Senate Bill no. 1102 seeking to institutionalize the “Filipino First” policy in the government procurement system. The measure seeks to amend a provision in Republic Act No. 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The measure, which shall be known as “Gawang Pilipino, Para sa Pilipino Act of 2019,” is in line with the constitutional mandate promoting the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods.

Article 12, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution states that the “State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive.”

“It is imperative that the government ensure that Filipinos are always first in the choice of labor and supplier of goods. In order to give life to this constitutional mandate, promote the ingenuity and creativity of Filipinos as well as encourage Filipino scientists and inventors to create more beneficial products and services, this bill seeks to institutionalize the Filipino first policy in the government procurement system,” the senator said.

The enactment of the bill into law, however, does not bar any government agency from tapping the services and avail of goods from foreign suppliers.

“There must be a certification or clearance that there is no existing domestic and Filipino supplier who can supply and satisfy the procurement need,” Tolentino said. SENATE.GOV.PH