After Senator Kiko Pangilinan’s constant follow-ups with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the roll-out of the provision on negotiated procurement with farmers and fisherfolk have finally been released.

The Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) submitted to the Senate a copy of the IRR that will allow government agencies to buy food directly from farmers and fisherfolk, a key component in Pangilinan’s Sagip Saka Law.

DBM, which supervises GPPB, committed to publish the guidelines early next week so there would no longer be any obstacle for easy and direct purchases from farmers and fisherfolk.

“Merong ‘di bababa sa P41 billion na nakalaan sa budget ng DOH, DSWD, DILG, at DepEd ngayong taon para sa direktang pagbili sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda.”

“Salamat sa pagka-release ng IRR at sana maipaalam na ito sa pinakamaraming tao. Merong ‘di bababa sa P41 billion na nakalaan sa budget ng DOH, DSWD, DILG, at DepEd ngayong taon para sa direktang pagbili sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Wala pa dyan ang sa LGU (We are grateful for the IRR release and we hope that it would be disseminated to as many people as possible. At least P41 billion is allocated in this year’s budget of the DOH, DSWD, DILG, and DepEd for the direct purchase from farmers and fisherfolk. The amount does not even include the LGUs’),” the veteran legislator said.

“Malaking bagay ito, lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya.”

“Malaking pera itong diretsong mapupunta sa bulsa ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda. Malaking bagay ito, lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya, pagbaha ng imports, at sari-saring bagyo na kinakaharap ng mga nagpapakain sa atin (This huge amount will go directly to the pockets of our farmers and fisherfolk. This is a big help especially during the pandemic, the flood of imports, and the many storms that face those who feed us),” the seasoned lawmaker added.

The DBM’s budget was tackled at the Senate plenary.

A couple of weeks ago, at the Senate hearing on the 2022 budget for DBM, Pangilinan warned that he would move to defer DBM’s 2022 budget if the IRR is not released.

“Matatapos na ang 2021, hindi pa magamit-gamit ang bilyon-bilyong halaga na nakalaan sa batas na makatulong sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda (2021 is almost over and the billions allotted in the law to help our farmers and fisherfolk have still not been used),” the senator stressed.

The GPPB had said it needed to review and amend the negotiated procurement guidelines to implement Pangilinan’s Sagip Saka Law, which was signed in April 2019.

The released IRR calls for participation of local communities “through community or social groups, or members thereof, in the delivery of goods and simple infrastructure projects”.

According to the IRR, the amount of goods and simple infrastructure covered should not exceed P5 million, while labor-only contracts should not go beyond P1 million.

Pilot implementation of the program will involve identified local government units and agencies, including the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Health, and Education.

“Ang direktang pagbili sa ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda ay magre-resulta ng mas mura at mas sariwang pagkain. Malaking tulong ito sa mga naghihigpit ng sinturon (Direct purchase from farmers and fisherfolk means lower prices of quality food. This would ease the burden of our people who are barely making both ends meet),” Pangilinan said.



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