Training on procurement to help research projects stay on course

UP scientists often need to purchase equipment from abroad for their research projects. But little or lack of knowledge of procurement essentials can make the experience quite frustrating for them.

To help reduce snags in the process, UP is holding four seminar-workshops in August and September 2015 to teach project leaders and staff how to prepare the project procurement management plan (PPMP) and the annual procurement plan (APP). Participants will also learn how to develop technical specifications for equipment, services and other items; formulate the cost estimate for the item to be procured; generate price quotations or canvass; and determine the appropriate mode of procurement and its requisites.

The workshops also aim to acquaint participants with outsource procurement agents such as the Philippine International Trading Corporation as well as with recent government circulars relevant to R&D procurement.

According to Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Mary Delia Tomacruz, it is high time to attend to procurement concerns that cause delays in existing research projects in UP. The workshop will be good for new projects too, she said, since it will give new research proponents an idea on how to factor in procurement-related costs in the line-item budget.

The series will be held tentatively on the following dates: August 17-18 for UP Cebu, UP Visayas, UP Mindanao and UP Tacloban; August 24-25 for UP Diliman and UP Baguio; August 31 and September 1 for UP Los Banos and UP Open University; and September 8-9 for UP Manila and the Philippine General Hospital.

It is organized jointly by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Office of the Vice President for Administration, and the supply and property management offices (SPMOs) of the UP System and UP Diliman.

In a memorandum issued on 16 July 2015, President Alfredo Pascual already instructed the chancellors, deans, directors, heads of units and project leaders to designate a procurement officer for their units or offices.

The procurement officer will collate all PPMPs under the unit/office and consolidate them into the unit/office APP before submitting to the SPMO; assist the research proponents in preparing the technical specifications of the item; generate the canvass for the item to be procured; and ensure that all documentary requirements required by the mode of procurement are complete.

Aside from organizing the seminar-workshops, the OVPAA also recently released the UP System Procurement Guidebook.

(Article updated: 17 August 2015)