Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has just provided timely assistance to local construction companies amid allegedly skyrocketing metal prices amid the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Information reaching the Manila Bulletin indicates that Lopez approved a letter from the House of Representatives to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regarding the soaring metal prices and its impact on the activities of mining companies. national construction.
Reports indicate that metal prices have climbed nearly 200% in recent months – a supposed effect of limited imports from China as well as high prices for steel and iron ore products in the market. global.
The letter, written by Vice President Bernadette Herrera of the Bagong Henerasyon Party-List, asked the DTI to consider the possibility of implementing price adjustments in government construction contracts in light of the global surge in prices of metals.
But Lopez said it is the NEDA, not the DTI, that determines contract price adjustments or escalations in accordance with Republic Law (RA) 9184 or the Public Procurement Reform Law.
Lopez then forwarded Herrera’s letter to NEDA and the Public Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) under the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for appropriate action. .
Lopez said contract price increase requests are covered by Article 61 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 9184, which provides that contract price adjustment can only be considered in cases where extraordinary circumstances and with the prior approval of the GPPB.
Such requests, he said, must be submitted to NEDA with the approval of the purchasing agency, which in this case is the DPWH.
For the head of the DTI, the current COVID-19 pandemic falls under the definition of “extraordinary circumstances” as envisaged in Annex 15, section 4.3 of said TRI.
He added that the DTI “is committed to assisting in the process, in particular by providing inputs, if necessary, to complement or validate the data on” price indexes “in Annex A of Appendix 15 of said IRR ”.
Lopez also recommended that a policy discussion be initiated by the GPPB or NEDA to determine how to quickly deal with contract price adjustments during the period of public health emergencies without each contractor needing to individually ask NEDA for confirmation. escalating prices.
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