Duterte increases employees’ funeral benefits, streamlines gov’t contract approval rules

MANILA-- In the days leading up to his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Orders (EOs) on July 17 that raised private and government workers' funeral benefits and streamlined the rules on government contracts' approval.

Under EO 33, employees in the private and public sectors will receive a higher funeral benefit under the Employees' Compensation Program (ECP), from PHP20,000 to PHP30,000.

ECP implementor, Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC), and ECP administrators, the Social Security System (SSS) for the private sector and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the public sector, were directed to appropriate and release the amounts necessary to cover the increase in benefits.

The said increase will be allotted from the reserves of the relevant State Insurance Fund (SIF) that the SSS and GSIS administer under the ECP.

On the other hand, EO 34 further amended the procedures on the review and approval of government contracts.

For government contracts entered through alternative methods of procurement, the Head of the Procuring Entity, the said EO stated, may now proceed with the alternative methods of procurement provided that for contracts involving an amount of at least PHP500-million, the Head of the Procuring Entity should issue a certification under oath that the contract falls within the exceptions from public bidding, faithfully complies with all applicable laws, and is beneficial to the government.

Unlike before, the procurement head was required to first obtain approval of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) in order to resort to any alternative methods of procurement.

For government contracts requiring Presidential action or approval, they should be submitted with complete documentation to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) within seven days from approval by the Head of Procuring Entity for review and evaluation, the EO added.

Source: Philippine News Agency