With the Philippine economy going into overdrive and the country’s GDP growing at an average of 6% each year, it’s looking more and more certain that the nation is poised for long-term growth. And with the expansion of the economy also comes the upsurge in government spending. In fact, President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed into law Republic Act 11465 or the General Appropriations Act, which authorized the release of PHP 4.1 trillion national budget for the year 2020. It’s the Philippines’ biggest budget to date, exceeding 2019’s general appropriations by more than 12%.
If you want a piece of the action, there’s no better time to enjoy the windfall than now. Today, there is the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System or PhilGEPS, which helps streamline the process by which businesses can participate in government bidding. This online portal serves as a platform where merchants—including suppliers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, consultants, and all the others—can view procurement opportunities and submit bidding documents to try to secure government contracts.
In this article, we’ll shed light on some of the signs that may point toward the fact that you’re now prepared to take on government contracts, particularly those that you can secure exclusively through the PhilGEPS system.
You Desire a More Rationalized and Transparent Government Procurement Process
The provision mandating all government agencies to use the Government Electronic Procurement System—now called PhilGEPS—was inscribed in Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA). Its passage in 2003 signaled the beginning of the streamlining and harmonization of the Philippine government’s procurement system, a process that was carried out in order to make the government’s procurement procedures more consistent with international standards and best practices.
The Act promoted the principles of transparency, accountability, efficiency, and competitiveness—ideals that became easier to attain with the help of technology. With the development of the PhilGEPS platform, opportunities to trade with the government and all ensuing transactions were made available online, thereby improving overall transparency and facilitating public monitoring efforts.
You’re Not Afraid of Technology
Despite the advantages of securing government contracts, many eligible businesses hesitate to submit bids because they worry about not being able to comply with all the stringent government procurement procedures and because they’re not certain where exactly they should submit bid documents in the first place.
The development of the PhilGEPS online portal partly addresses these challenges by serving as the center of all information regarding government procurement requirements. All units of the government—from National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) to Local Government Units (LGUs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCS)—are required to use the PhilGEPS platform. All of these offices now announce and advertise procurement opportunities through this portal, and the whole process—all the way to the awarding of the contracts, monitoring of delivery, and payment—are posted electronically for the public to see. Technology has made the process easier, and you can certainly use it as a leverage to secure lucrative contracts for your own business.
You Need Reliable Access to Business-Critical Information
As discussed, merchants derive a lot of benefits from using PhilGEPS when doing business with the government. One of the most important advantages you get is 24/7 access to information detailing the particulars of numerous government bid opportunities. If you’re operating an enterprise that puts a premium on efficiency, this is certainly something you’ll be able to appreciate. Access to information on government bid projects is vital to your ability to conduct market research and project feasibility studies, allowing you to make important business decisions quickly and confidently.
You Want to Be Compensated Well
Make no mistake, the Philippine government has a lot of money, and it’s prepared to pay you well. Simply looking at the number of procurement opportunities on the PhilGEPS website should give you an idea just how big of a spender the government really is. Currently, there are thousands of opportunities available for 157 identified sectors and industries.
You Want a One-Off Opportunity That Has the Possibility of Being Extended
It’s certainly not unheard of for government units, agencies, or institutions to continue their engagement with merchants even after their initial contract has ended. Businesses that have previously secured contracts from the government have a greater chance of being re-hired for other projects or receiving an extension for their current contracts.
Naturally, your business will have to do well during the first engagement because if you don’t—or if you default on your obligations—you are likely to be blacklisted from the PhilGEPS platform. The website actually maintains a list of merchants that have been banned from future transactions with the government because of past irregularities.
You’re Not Worried about Financing for Your Project
Another major reason many eligible businesses never submit bids through PhilGEPS is that they are concerned about not being able to acquire the funds needed to meet the procurement requirements. However, you shouldn’t be shunning these opportunities just because of the apprehensions you might have about financing. Instead, you would be well-advised to seek reliable financing assistance to help you cover all necessary project costs.
You could consider taking out a business loan from a bank, although the typically long processing time of such loans could put you at a disadvantage. You could also try fast online financing solutions extended by private financing firms. First Circle, for instance, offers financing options like invoice financing and purchase order financing. These funding facilities don’t take very long to be approved, which means you can be more confident about your capacity to deliver the contract.
You Want to Improve Your Company’s Reputation and Brand Equity
Being able to bag government contracts is like getting seals of approval about the reliability of your business. No matter what others may tell you, getting projects from the government—and especially from prestigious government units, agencies, and institutions—will be seen by both the private and public sectors as a vote of confidence on your credibility and trustworthiness, or at the very least, your dependability.
You’re Willing to Broaden Your Professional Horizon
On top of the boost in reputation and credibility that your company will gain, closing deals with the government is also an opportunity to put a foot in the door, so to speak. Winning governments contracts enhances your networking potential by helping you find the right people and giving you opportunities to develop relationships that could contribute to the growth of your business. Widening your professional network this way can lead you to learning about other lucrative projects through referrals, and you might even be able to take advantage of upselling or cross-selling opportunities within the same organization you’re currently working with.
Widening one’s client base to include government units, institutions, and agencies is a strategic move that businesses, including SMEs and those that originally offer B2B products and services should certainly explore. If you think your own business is ready to accept government projects, then register with PhilGEPS and consider upgrading to a Platinum Membership, which only costs PHP 5,000. Registering as a Platinum Member allows you not just to view government procurement opportunities, but you’ll also receive a PhilGEPS certificate, which is a needed for most government procurement contracts. Get started with your PhilGEPs registration by visiting the PhilGEPS website today!