THE new procurement system for PNP equipment and other supplies will affect only four big-ticket purchases, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said yesterday.
Gamboa said he will sit down with Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and discuss how to go about the four acquisition projects, including the purchase of the controversial and allegedly overpriced laser speed guns.
“Now as to how we are going to go about it (procurement), SILG Año and I, we will sit down and discuss in detail how to go about it (transfer of procurement authority to the DILG). But for the meantime that the President declared that it is so, then the PNP will follow the President’s directive,” Gamboa said.
President Duterte has stripped the PNP of its procurement authority as he blasted the police force’s planned acquisition of laser speed guns, which bore a P950,000 per unit price tag in the list submitted to the Office of the President.
Duterte said the city government of Davao had made a similar purchase and the items only cost P10,000 each.
The President has tasked Año to take over the police’s procurement of new equipment, with strict orders to ensure that all transactions are corrupt-free.
Gamboa said the procurement of items that the PNP needs for 2020 will not be affected by the President’s decision since the procurement phase for 11 of the 15 big-ticket purchases set this year have already been completed last year.
“Eleven na ‘yung actually na-procure and ready na for award (We have already finished the procurement phase for the 11 projects, they are now ready to be awarded). So, there are only four pending big-ticket items that are still under procurement procedures. We have up to December 31 of this year to complete this,” he said.
Interior Department spokesman Jonathan Malaya said Año has already directed DILG lawyers “to study the matter and make their recommendations to him.”
“We will comply with the directive of the President and assure him that henceforth, the DILG will closely review the procurement of the PNP,” Malaya said.
He assured the public that they will be vigilant in the enforcement of the President’s directive.
“The DILG under Secretary Año will never allow corruption in the PNP and takes seriously the internal-cleansing program,” he said, pointing out that the PNP has a very good record of procurement for the last three years with an absorptive capacity of 98 percent and no protests from proponents or watchdogs.
Malaya said the PNP could have made an “honest mistake” when it presented its wish list of new gears and supplies to President Duterte.
“The PNP unfortunately used a wrong term in their presentation to the President. They used the term ‘laser speed gun’ but according to (Gamboa), what they were referring to or requesting is the Micro Digital Photo/Video Laser Tech Speed System being used now by advanced countries like US and Israel costing on the average about P1M per system. It can capture up to 15,000 images of moving vehicles and build a database,” Malaya said.
He said that PNP wanted to procure the latest equipment in curbing over-speeding and drunk driving in highways and public roads so it requested clearance from the President to procure speed detection systems, breath analyzers and mobile weighing scales.
Malaya said that the procurement process for the speed gadget has not begun and no funds have been disbursed yet. “It’s still in the pre-procurement stage and they were just asking clearance from the President,” he said.
He added Gamboa has submitted an explanation to the President, expressing his deep regret for the mistake.
Malaya said that PNP’s best practices in procurement transactions over the years has resulted in huge savings for the government and improved operational capacity of PNP units equipped with better acquired mission-essential tools, mobile assets and resources.