March 25, 2024, 9:21 PM

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) takes immense pride in announcing the approval of its new Design-and-Build (DB) Procurement Guidelines for Irrigation Infrastructure Projects.

The approval of the NIA Board on this strategic instrument on March 21, 2024, marks a significant milestone in the agency’s commitment to fostering efficiency, transparency, and innovation of the organization to contribute to the BUILD BETTER MORE Program of the Marcos Jr. Administration.

Designed to streamline the infrastructure development and procurement processes while ensuring optimal quality and cost-effectiveness, these guidelines embody the NIA’s unwavering dedication to modernize irrigation systems across the nation. With these enhancements, the agency aims to address the evolving needs of the agricultural sector and propel sustainable development in rural communities, achieving a significant increase in the quality of life of Filipino farmers.

The approved of the DB Guidelines is anchored on the provisions of RA 9184 otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act specifically Annex G of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). The DB Guidelines of NIA was also benchmarked with that of DPWH, ensuring that the NIA leverages on the successful experiences of DPWH in the past several years.

About the DB Procurement Approach:

The DB approach entails that the contractor implements both the design and construction of a project, guaranteeing its completion without error. Unlike the traditional procurement methods, the D-B approach focuses on performance, outlining what the infrastructure facility should achieve without specifying the exact design and construction methods. NIA’s responsibility is to provide the Minimum Performance Standards and Specifications (MPSS), and the contractor will adopt its own design and build the facility, compliant with NIA’s standards. The guidelines will also introduce a modern way of facilitating D-B procurement, leveraging Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems used in large private sector projects and selected foreign-funded projects of the government.

Key Benefits of DB Approach:

  1. Streamlined Procedures: The guidelines introduce simplified and standardized procedures, reducing administrative burden and expediting project design and implementation timelines. The DB Approach is expected to cut project delivery from preparation to implementation by approximately 36 months.
  2. Singular Responsibility, Holistic Approach: By entrusting both design and construction to the contractor, accountability is streamlined, reducing administrative burden. the guidelines promote collaboration and synergy among stakeholders involved in project planning, design, and construction phases. This holistic approach fosters innovation, enhances project coordination, and minimizes potential conflicts, resulting in optimized project outcomes.
  3. Innovation, Modernization, and Quality Assurance: The D-B approach encourages private sector innovation and use of advanced technologies in designing and implementing projects, leading to more efficient and effective infrastructure solutions.  Through rigorous quality control measures and performance-based specifications, both NIA and the private sector can uphold the highest standards of construction excellence, ensuring the durability, reliability, and sustainability of irrigation infrastructure assets.
  4. Transparency and Accountability: The guidelines prioritize outcomes within project budget which will foster a level playing field and will promote market efficiency and integrity, while safeguarding public trust in NIA’s procurement processes.

The NIA Administrator commended the collective efforts of the Board of Directors, the management team, its consultant the REID Foundation, and stakeholders in developing these forward-thinking guidelines. “I am confident that these enhancements will serve as a catalyst for transformative change, driving inclusive growth and resilience in our agricultural landscape. Moving forward, the National Irrigation Administration remains steadfast in our commitment to advance irrigation infrastructure development, empowering farming communities, and ensuring food security for generations to come.”