Economy

Eligibility rules eased for potential tractor suppliers

THE eligibility rules have been eased for prospective suppliers of four-wheel tractors to the farm mechanization program, with the Department of Agriculture (DA) requiring that they need to have been present in the market for 10 years instead of 25-30 previously.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said he signed Memorandum Order No. 34 on May 12 which eased the “market presence” requirement for distributors or manufacturers.

“The policy democratizes the procurement process and makes the bidding more competitive,” Mr. Dar said in a statement Thursday.

“It avoids allegations of tailor-fitting the bidding process to favor a few suppliers. It also responds to complaints of prospective bidders as the 25-year to 30-year market presence requirement has (prevented) them from participating in the DA farm mechanization program,” he added.  

Various arms of the agriculture bureaucracy have not harmonized their market presence standards for procurement. The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization and the DA field offices in Regions 1, 3, and 6 require 30 years; the Sugar Regulatory Administration 25 years; and the DA field office in Region 2 10 years.  

The DA added that bidders for tractor contracts need to provide a minimum one-year warranty, meet Philippine National Standards and Philippine Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Standards, provide after-sale services, conduct maintenance, and prove their products have no history of major breakdowns. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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