CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
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AbstractThe first Country Procurement Assessment Report (CPAR) was completed in June 2002 and published in March 2003. This CPAR has served as an analytical tool to help assess the public procurement system in the Philippines, and in the process, helped to generate a dialogue with the Government to improve procurement practices, and to help civil society and the private sector better understand the current processes, and procedures in place. The CPAR Update reviewes the status of the reforms, and finds that over 50 percent of the recommendations from the first CPAR have been completed, and another 26 percent are in progress. The key accomplishments include the passage and promulgation of the Government Procurement Reform Act, and implementing rules and regulations, the establishment and immediate functioning of a powerful Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) and its Technical Services Office, mandatory implementation of electronic procurement systems, a well-defined complaint mechanism and blacklisting procedures, provision for civil society monitoring, reasonable procurement audit provisions, numerous dissemination and training activities, and near-completion of harmonized bid documents and manuals. It is worth particularly noting that the new procurement policy has institutionalized the participation of civil society organizations in all bids, and awards committees, thus enhancing the integrity of the bidding process. There is still much to be done however. This Update identifies several emerging priorities, including the perception of high cost of some works and goods, and the eligibility of Philippine firms to compete for internationally financed contracts.