The DILG-NCR, through the Project Development and Management Unit (PDMU), conducted the first session of this year’s Apprising Government Employees’ Skills on Infrastructure Projects and Knowledge on Monitoring and Evaluation, and Performance (AGSIKAP) last May 17, 2024 at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Quezon City.

The AGSIKAP serves as the primary platform of the PDMU for various capacity-building activities aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of local government units (LGUs) in NCR with Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) projects. In its third year of implementation, the AGSIKAP seeks to tackle specific technical topics and processes in three (3) different sessions, beginning with the Republic Act (RA) no. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and its 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

To commence the activity, DILG-NCR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Ana Lyn R. Baltazar-Cortez, CESO IV shared the theme of this year’s Labor Day commemoration, “Sa Bagong Pilipinas: Manggagawang Pilipino, Kabalikat at Kasama sa Pag-asenso,” emphasizing the role of public servants in building a promising future for the nation.

“Bilang mga kawani o manggagawa ng gobyerno, […] tangan natin ang tungkulin na tiyakin ang mabisa at mahusay na paghahatid ng mga pangunahing serbisyo sa publiko, habang isinasaalang-alang ang epektibong paggamit ng pondo ng bayan at mga rekurso ng pamahalaan nang may buong katapatan at pananagutan,” she stated.

Recognizing that there remain challenges that impede the timely implementation of projects under the LGSF – Financial Assistance to Local Government Units (FALGU), particularly those related to the procurement process, Atty. Baltazar-Cortez hoped that this year’s AGSIKAP would help build the capacity of LGUs and barangays towards the successful completion of projects and seamless delivery of essential services and facilities to their respective communities.

Shortly after, LGOO V and PDMU Chief Dennis R. de Paz shared that the activity was designed to guide LGSF-FALGU beneficiary LGUs through the different steps and requirements involved in the whole procurement process under RA No. 9184 and its 2016 revised IRR; ensure compliance of LGU beneficiaries with laws, rules, and regulations on procurement; and enable effective and efficient management and implementation of LGSF projects in their respective areas of responsibility. 

Laying the Groundwork: Essential Tools for Effective Project Management

PDMU Chief de Paz then proceeded the discussion on the salient features of the Local Budget Circular (LBC) No. 155 issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) last February 15, 2024. He highlighted relevant changes from the previous LBC, such as the projects covered by the FY 2024 LGSF-FALGU and limitations on the use of the said fund. Moreover, PDMU Chief de Paz provided a quick run-through of the process of requesting funds under LGSF-FALGU through the Digital Requests Submission for Local Government Support Funds (DRSL) Portal.

Following this, ISA II Marc Allen B. Mojica demonstrated the step-by-step process of enrolling DBM-approved LGSF-FALGU projects in the SubayBAYAN Portal, which serves as the official portal of the DILG for reporting and monitoring locally-funded projects. He also showcased several changes in the encoding of project accomplishments for non-infrastructure projects, as part of the latest enhancements to the SubayBAYAN Portal.

Finally, Engr. III Mikee C. Miranda presented the breakdown of FY 2023 LGSF projects per LGU, as well as their completion rate based on their corresponding physical and SubayBAYAN status as of the first week of May 2024. She then provided updates on the status of FY 2024 LGSF projects, followed by a discussion on the general observations and recommendations on project management and implementation in NCR.

Usapang Agsikap Session: Understanding the Fundamentals of the Government Procurement Reform Act

To start her presentation on the procurement process, DILG Administrative Service-Procurement Management Division Chief Leslie B. Cañafranca provided a brief background on the enactment of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. She also laid down the five (5) governing principles of government procurement: public monitoring, accountability, competitiveness, transparency, and streamlined process.

Subsequently, Ms. Cañafranca discussed in detail the transparency and accountability requirements and measures under RA 9184, as well as the general and alternative procurement methods outlined in the said law. Towards the end, Ms. Cañafranca delved into the functions of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPBB) and explained the roles and responsibilities of various procurement actors such as the Head of Procuring Entity (HOPE), Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), Technical Working Group (TWG), End-users, and Observers.

To conclude the activity, LGCDD Assistant Division Chief Luigi D.C. Pilarta expressed his gratitude towards the barangay and LGU officials for their unwavering dedication in implementing priority projects crucial for providing basic goods and services to their constituents. He underscored, however, that the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of LGSF projects is a shared responsibility among all levels of governance, geared towards the development of local communities.

“Sinisikap po natin na magsagawa ng mga hakbang at mekanismo upang magabayan ang ating mga LGU at barangay sa buong proseso ng pagpapatupad ng LGSF-FALGU projects—tungo sa mabilis, masikhay, at tapat na paghahatid ng likas-kaya, abot-kamay, at dekalidad na mga serbisyo sa ating mga mamamayan,” ADC Pilarta stated.

Usapang Agsikap is the first of a series of sessions to be conducted by the DILG National Capital Region-Project Development and Monitoring Unit in its continuous initiative in ensuring improved documentation, reporting and project evaluation in the local government units of the National Capital Region.