SEN. Francis Tolentino wants the Filipino First policy institutionalized in the government procurement system.
Tolentino filed Senate Bill (SB) 1102, an act to be known as the “Gawang Pilipino, Para sa Pilipino (Made by Filipinos, For the Filipinos),” that amends Republic Act 9184, or the “Government Procurement Act.”
He said the Philippines has some of the most brilliant scientists and inventors of modern times.
“Filipinos have made breakthroughs that will definitely improve the lives of their fellow countrymen and even propel the country to economic development and prosperity,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the State has not given much attention and focus on the importance and benefits that can be brought about by these discoveries and we have not taken full advantage of their potential for economic prosperity and development as a whole,” Tolentino added.
The Constitution provides that the State “shall promote the preferential use o of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive.”
SB 1102 is meant “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, seeks to institutionalize the Filipino First policy in the government procurement system,” he pointed out.
Under the bill, before any government institution or agency can procure products and services from foreign suppliers, there must be a certification or clearance that there is no existing domestic and Filipino supplier who can supply the procurement need, he said.
But Tolentino said in the interest of availability, efficiency and timely delivery of goods, the procuring entity must give preference to the purchase of domestically produced and Filipino-made and manufactured goods, supplies and materials, as well as preference to Filipino and domestic suppliers of services.