DOTr Statement on the article titled “Red tape or micromanagement? DOTr strips functions of several attached agencies”
This refers to the Inquirer.net article titled “Red tape or micromanagement? DOTr strips functions of several attached agencies” written by Dennis Gutierrez (contributor) and posted March 9, 2023.
The story alleges that Department Order (DO) 2023-007 of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) strips the authority and key functions of DOTr attached agencies and may hamper or delay important transactions.
DO 2023-007 is an internal policy intended to streamline administrative and procurement processes within the Department and its sectoral offices to promote faster internal financial processes in accordance with existing guidelines. It covers operating units within the DOTr – Office of the Secretary (OSEC) such as the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3), Philippine Railways Institute (PRI), and the Regional Offices in CAR and Caraga.
DO 2023-007 is a more simplified version of an earlier order that defines particular accountability points and addresses previous overlaps and ambiguities. DOTr Undersecretary for Administration and Finance stressed that the said DO was a product of a number of consultations within the Department and it stands ready to assist operating units in ensuring non-interruption of services during the implementation of the Order.
The DO adheres to all pertinent laws and promotes ease of doing business, as explained below:
(1) Procurement is a specific function entrusted to DOTr by law or regulation, and not to subordinate units. Executive Order (EO) No. 292 provides that with respect to functions of subordinate units involving discretion, experienced judgment or expertise, the DOTr Secretary’s exercise of control remains in accordance with applicable laws.
(2) DO 2023-007 did not, in any way, divest LTO/LTFRB of its authority to conduct procurement projects. It recognizes LTO/LTFRB’s authority as procuring entity for projects with an ABC of up to Fifty Million Pesos (Php50,000,000.00).
(3) Efficient delivery of public service and references to Republic Act (RA) No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act, are the very reasons for creating the subject procurement system. This is also the reason why end-user units, like LTO and LTFRB, were authorized to procure items up to P50-million and undertake several administrative and personnel actions contrary to the claim of the news article.
To date, PRI, LTFRB, MRT3 and the Regional Offices efficiently proceeded with their procurement activities consistent with their provided authorities.
(4) Regarding the bidding of plates and licenses, since issuance of the DO clarifies the BAC’s (Bids and Awards Committee) scope, DOTr-Procurement Management Service (ProcMS) has since been coordinating with LTO to immediately submit necessary documents so that DOTr can commence with the bidding.
(5) However, LTO was unable to submit complete or accurate documents necessary to initiate bidding. DOTr’s ProcMS even initiated a capacity building session last March 6 with LTO Procurement Unit to update them about correct procedures in preparing the terms of reference.
(6) LTO was given until March 15 to submit the documents to DOTr BAC. The procurement will be conducted as soon as complete and accurate documents are received, consistent with the provisions of RA No. 9184.
(7) As to issuance of appointments, DOTr’s latest issuance is consistent with Merit Selection Plan approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that identifies the Secretary as the appointing authority of DOTr-OSEC (including LTO and LTFRB).
Any change in the process will require further CSC approval. It bears stressing that LTO and LTFRB are not attached agencies of DOTr but instead part and parcel of DOTr-OSEC.
(8) LTO and LTFRB, as line agencies of DOTr, remain under the budget of the Office of the DOTr Secretary, and audited by the Commission on Audit under DOTr.
The DOTr stands ready to work with stakeholders, including the Anti-Red Tape Authority to ensure the efficiency of its internal systems and procedures, complemented by process re-engineering, streamlining and digitization, consistent with the directives of the President.
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