Update, May 2023: Aside from the new PhilGEPS registration process below, First Circle now has a free database called Project Finder. It is a searchable page of government bidding notices from PhilGEPS and other LGU websites.
Winning a government contract opens a lot of doors for SMEs (small to medium enterprises). Aside from credibility and recognition of your brand’s quality from the government itself, it also opens up your business to more projects and opportunities.
Most SMEs, however, are under the impression that their chances of doing business with the government are very slim, due to difficult requirements or lack of the necessary connections. Fortunately, the government has a system for awarding contracts that aims to be open, transparent, and competitive for all merchants. This is called PhilGEPS.
What does PhilGEPS mean?
PhilGEPS stands for Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System.
What is PhilGEPS?
PhilGEPS is a single, centralized online portal that serves as the primary and definitive source of information on government procurement. It was created to automate the procurement process, avoid confusion, increase bidding efficiency, and ensure transparency in government contracts.
How does PhilGEPS work?
First, government agencies post their procurement needs and requirements in the system as PhilGEPS bidding notices. The notices span across all Philippine regions, and include the following details:
• Project or requirement name
• Contract budget
• Area of delivery
• Procuring entity
• Closing date of the bid
The projects can be as simple as the procurement of cleaning supplies, or as large as the construction of an entire public facility.
Next, suppliers (i.e. manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and consultants) who are registered in the system as PhilGEPS members can browse the bidding notices. To bid or send quotations, suppliers must submit the necessary documents requested in the notice. This can be done directly on the PhilGEPS portal, or via other means such as email or mail – depending on the requirements of the procuring entity.
How to register in PhilGEPS
All government-related procuring entities, such as local government units, government agencies, government corporations and financial institutions, and state-operated universities and colleges must use PhilGEPS to procure their business needs through government bidding. To access their bids, you must register as a merchant on the PhilGEPS portal.
PhilGEPS Registration for Red Membership
Any merchant with valid requirements can apply for free in PhilGEPS. The default membership after registration is called a Red Membership. This membership has no expiration and lets you view bid abstracts. However, you cannot bid directly on the PhilGEPS portal.
Aside from bid abstracts, red members can also see open and closed opportunities, award notices, and procurement service catalogs. You can also order bid documents and view bid matching. To make a bid directly on the PhilGEPS Notices section, the merchant must upgrade to the paid Platinum membership.
To register as a merchant or supplier, you must have the following PhilGEPS requirements:
• Valid email address
• Other pertinent information to prove your company has legitimate business operations
Here’s how to apply for PhilGEPS Red membership:
1. Visit the PhilGEPS website and hover over the Sign Up button on the upper right-hand corner. Then, click Merchant Registration.
2. Fill the required details in the Registration Form, then click “Send OTP to Email.”
3. Check your email for the PhilGEPS OTP (one-time password). Type this on the OTP field that appeas in the registration form.
4. Proceed to the PhilGEPS login page. On the "Select Login As" section, select ‘Merchant’ and enter your login credentials.
5. After login, click ‘Apply for Red Registration’. Complete your business details and upload the required documents.
6. Finish by ticking the confirmation box, then clicking ‘Submit’.
Note that your registration is still pending approval. PhilGEPS will send you the approval or rejection notification via email within 24 business hours.
You may also view the PhilGEPS 2022 video guide on how to register.
PhilGEPS Registration for Platinum Membership
PhilGEPS Platinum Membership is an annual membership that lets you submit bids directly on the PhilGEPS portal. Once the membership is paid for and approved, you also get a Certificate of PhilGEPS Registration. This certificate must be presented to procuring entities whenever you enter into a bid.
Platinum membership costs PHP 5,000 annually and is renewable through the website. Once expired, your status goes back to a Red Membership. Note that you cannot upgrade to a Platinum account without completing the Red Membership application steps above.
Here are the PhilGEPS requirements for a Platinum Membership:
• DTI, SEC, or CDA Business Registration Certificate
• Mayor’s Permit, Business Permit, or any equivalent document
• Audited Financial Statement (AFS)
• Tax Clearance Certificate
• Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) license; for contractors only
Here's how to upgrade to a PhilGEPS Platinum Membership:
2. Under ‘Pending Task’, click the number across ‘Upgrade Platinum Registration’. Alternatively, you can also click ‘Menu’ > ‘Organization’ > Upgrade to Platinum.
3. Complete the application form and upload the necessary documents. Then, tick the checkbox and click ‘Save and Continue’.
4. Choose a mode of payment for the PHP 5,000 membership fee. There are 2 ways to pay: via Cashier at PhilGEPS branches, or via Oncoll Pay at any LandBank branch.*
5. After choosing between Cashier or Oncoll, click ‘Print’ to print your payment slip. This will contain details that you need to present upon payment.
From here, your application will be saved as a draft until you have paid your membership fee.
After payment, follow the steps below to finish your Platinum application.
2. Under ‘Pending Task’, click the number across ‘Platinum Registration Under Preparation’.
3. Complete your payment details and upload a scanned copy of your Payment Receipt.
4. Click ‘Submit for Approval’.
Processing of your documents will take about 2-3 business days. You will receive an email confirmation as soon as your membership upgrade has been approved. You can also check your application status under Pending Tasks > View Platinum Registration.
View the membership upgrade steps as a video here.
What is the difference between PhilGEPS Red and PhilGEPS Platinum Membership?
Red members cannot submit bids directly on the PhilGEPS platform. They can only view bidding notices with small amounts of money involved, usually below ₱1M. This process of viewing bids is called "shopping". When they want to bid for a project, Red members need to send their quotations directly to the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairperson. In place of the PhilGEPS Certificate of Registration, which is one of the bidding documents required, Red members can submit Class “A” Eligibility Documents.
Platinum members, meanwhile, can bid on any public projects via the PhilGEPS system, even if the notice lists a payment worth more than ₱1M. They are also preferred suppliers, because they get a PhilGEPS Certificate of Registration that they can use to strengthen their bids.
Learn more about the differences between PhilGEPS Red and PhilGEPS Platinum Membership.
What are other PhilGEPS features?
Home page. This contains the latest PhilGEPS advisories and news, as well as links to the bid document uploader, PhilGEPS bid match mobile app, list of Platinum Member supplier, and more.
Bulletin Board. This is where all open bidding opportunities, former opportunities, award notices, and annual procurement plans are listed.
Catalogue. This section lists common-use items, consumable items, software, and subscriptions for government purchasing.
Platinum Membership page. This section leads platinum members to the e-bidding system.
How to secure funding for a government bid
Having a PhilGEPS red or platinum membership is now easier than ever, thanks to the online application process. However, many SME members still do not maximize the portal’s services to its full potential, mostly due to these reasons:
1. Concerns about being able to follow the government’s strict bidding and procurement procedures;
2. Not having enough funds to fulfill the bid requirements, or sustain cash flow until the project is paid
While SMEs can immediately see the initial project cost in bidding notices, that cost can quickly rise and decrease the profitability of the project, especially if it is long-term. Prices of materials may increase. The government requirements may turn out to be greater than the business’s current capabilities, forcing them to hire more employees or purchase more equipment.
The agency running the project may also take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete their payment – a significant dent in any SME’s cash flow.
However, instead of rejecting government opportunities due to funding challenges, SMEs can seek additional financing to ensure they can cover project expenses. SME bank loans are an option, but they are not processed quickly enough to cover sudden working capital shortages. Newer businesses may also find it difficult to comply with the stringent requirements.
Private financing firms are a more innovative funding alternative, as they provide loans more quickly than conventional lenders. SMEs that are profitable but somehow do not qualify for bank loans also have better chances of taking out an SME loan from private financing firms.
One such firm is First Circle, which offers simplified business loans and application processes in contrast to traditional lenders. First Circle’s Revolving Credit Line is a flexible, ongoing access to funds that helps cover unexpected cash flow gaps. Get up to ₱20 million in funds in just 3 steps:
1. Apply online. After filling out a 5-minute form, an Account Manager will get in touch soon to understand your business needs.
2. Send your business and personal documents for verification.
3. Receive your credit line and use it to scale your business.
With First Circle, working capital challenges are no longer a hindrance to bidding for government projects. Through the right planning, research, and funding partner, you can instead focus on the growth opportunities that come with being a PhilGEPS member and government supplier, and adjust quickly for any business roadblocks ahead.
Need business financing today? Apply for a Revolving Credit Line with First Circle.