If you’re the owner of a micro, small, or medium enterprise (MSME), you may find the prospect of bidding for a government contract quite intimidating. Aside from having concerns about possible strict bidding requirements, you might think that the process entails a lot of stress in submitting paperwork and a lot of back-and-forth between yourself and the government agency involved. At the back of your mind, you might also be thinking about whether your cash flow can handle a project of such scale. Indeed, there are a number of things to worry about when entering a business-to-government (B2G) contract for the first time. But partnering with the Philippine government may be one of the best long-term decisions you could ever make for your business. Plus, securing that B2G partnership may no longer be as difficult, confusing, or risky as you’d originally thought.
Thanks to an online portal called the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), it’s easier for even smaller businesses to bid for contracts with the government. In the past, procurement and bidding processes tended to be circuitous and unclear—and sometimes even downright anomalous.
Thankfully, this culture of inefficiency and corruption was largely upended by passage of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA) in 2003. Among the stipulations in the GPRA was the requirement that all government agencies use PhilGEPS for their procurement processes. Over the years, users of PhilGEPS—comprising both the government and the private sector—have seen the difference for themselves. PhilGEPS is proof of how digital technology can make procurement and bidding more efficient, accessible, and transparent.
In this short guide, we’ll provide some information on how you yourself can use PhilGEPS and what advantages you can expect when you use the platform to conduct a B2G contract bidding. This should help you prepare before finally extending an offer to provide your products and services to the Philippine government.
What Will Registering to PhilGEPS entail?
MSMEs have the option of registering for either a Free Membership or a Platinum Membership on PhilGEPS. For the Free Membership, you will need to submit your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) as well as your Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) license or your Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) certification. For the Platinum Membership, additional requirements like your Business Permit, an audited financial statement, tax clearance documents, and a membership fee of PHP 5000 are needed. The Platinum Membership will come with a special PhilGEPS certificate that most government procurement contracts require. Though a Platinum Membership entails an additional expense, this type of membership will make it much easier for you to do business with government units, agencies, and offices.
As soon as you make your first bid on PhilGEPS, you should be ready for the possibility that it will be accepted. That, in turn, may require you to have all your resources on hand to fulfill the project. If you don’t have adequate funds to cover the project costs just yet, you may consider getting business financing from First Circle, a private financing firm. A partner like First Circle, which offers accessible credit facilities like invoice financing and purchase order financing—can help you meet your obligations for your first big government contract on PhilGEPS.
The Benefits of Taking on Contracts with PhilGEPS
There are several key advantages to bidding for contracts on PhilGEPS. Here are four that stand out.
A Learning Opportunity for What Clients in the Philippine Government Need
A first-time user of PhilGEPS will be surprised to see how diverse the opportunities are on the platform. One important feature of the site is its catalogue of available bidding opportunities. These can be for supplying automation equipment, beverages, book publications, government vehicles, and a whole host of other things. The site will list down the exact number of opportunities available per category and which agency, regional office, or local government unit needs it. As a user, you will be able to browse through all these opportunities and explore the ones that are applicable to your business.
A Streamlined Bidding Process
With PhilGEPS, there are few ambiguities as to what each B2G contract will entail. Each opening will list the exact budget of the project, the documents required from each bidder, and the contact details of the government officer in charge. There will be no back-and-forth about basic project details, and there will be transparency in accounting for every peso to be spent on the project. All you need to do is view the opening, submit the documents, wait for the bidding results, and—if everything is in your favor—fulfill the contract.
Gateway to Lucrative Business with the Philippine Government
Government contracts are among the most lucrative contracts a small business owner can secure. Unlike many private businesses, the government has a consistent budget allowance for the services it needs. If the contract pulls through and your partner agency is pleased with your services, you might be able to bid again based on a cross-referral. Taking on additional contracts from other departments, bureaus, and attached offices in the government agency will definitely help you upscale your company’s professional abilities.
Credibility for Your Brand
By virtue of registering to PhilGEPS, you’ll be showcasing yourself to clients of high value. This communicates your confidence that you can fulfill important projects under strict requirements. Even before they accept your bid, your government clients will have a positive view of your company. And for every completed contract, you’ll gain a standout credential in your company’s portfolio. Thus, registering to PhilGEPS is one of the best ways that you can accumulate credibility and prestige for your company or brand.
Procurement and bidding are vital processes to the Philippine government since they are essential to the fulfillment of each agency’s regular public duties. Indeed, a B2G contract may be a profitable opportunity for your company; however, it is also a chance for you to work with people who, in turn, work for the betterment of the country.