Requesting Entity: Office of the City Mayor General Santos City
Issues Concern: Shopping as an Alternative Mode of Procurement
Whether or not Shopping may be resorted to in the acquisition of goods and services to be paid out of "petty cash"
Shopping as an alternative method of procurement may be availed of only in such instances specified under section 52 of R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A.
Furthermore, may we advise you, that Section 7.1 of the IRR-A requires all procurement to be in accordance in accordance with the APP, and all procuring entities are not allowed to procure anything unless it is included in the APP. The requirement extends to those immediate purchases of readily available off-the-shelf goods and to contingencies. These purchases include those charged against cash advances, or the so-called "over-the-counter" purchases.
In fine, while purchases of goods and services out of the petty cash may not readily fall under "Shopping" as an alternative method of procurement, there may be certain emergency situations when it may be resorted to. An agency, however, should be cautious in considering this method because of the general policy in favor of public bidding. In other words, in the absence of any of the conditions for shopping as aforementioned, it is always safe to conduct a public bidding, because it is the generally accepted method of procurement under the law.