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Nakahanap ng butas! Cayetano nixes public bidding for P1.5B in SEA Games tagged as ‘financial assistance’

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has found a way to go around the necessity for conducting public bidding for P1.5-billion worth of expenditures for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Cayetano told senators Tuesday (November 19) that more than a billion pesos worth of funds for SEA Games won’t be subjected to public bidding because the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) accepted the money as financial assistance.

During deliberations for the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) proposed 2020 budget, Cayetano, the Phisgoc chairman, said money received as financial assistance is exempted from the government procurement law.

He said Phisgoc had to receive the money from PSC as financial aid because the agency and the Philippine Olympic Committee were overwhelmed by SEA Games preparations.

“There are exceptions under procurement law. However, they are still subject to guidelines of government procedures, particularly during the submission of liquidations,” said Cayetano.

Under Section 4.5 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Government Procurement Law or Republic Act No. 9184, “direct financial or material assistance given to beneficiaries” are not recognized as a procurement activity.

Cayetano said the P1.5 billion will be spent on broadcast expenses, talent fees, special meetings, gametime medical requirements and other operating expenses.

Of the amount received by Phisgoc, he said P700 million were already disbursed while the remaining P800 million will be spent just before the SEA Games opens on November 30.

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