Have you completed your government supplier registration to PhilGEPS (Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System) yet? If you have, then congratulations — your business is one step closer to securing more growth opportunities. Businesses that work with government procurement can enjoy a more attractive and credible client portfolio, stronger networks, and an increase in business sales by upselling or cross-selling with the government agencies they work with.
Seasoned government suppliers, however, know that the PhilGEPS registration process is only half the battle. Submitting a bid can get complicated and frustrating. This is due to the process length and multiple requirements. You’ll have to gather and buy hundreds of pages of documents. Even when you submit your bid on time and make it to the bid opening, technical ineligibilities can still derail your bid.
To help you win a government bidding and avoid being deemed ineligible, our clients provided some tips on the PhilGEPS bidding process.
Tip #1. Activate email alerts for PhilGEPS notices
To make a bid, you'll need a bidding notice — one that fits your business capabilities. SME business owners are busy by nature, however, and checking the PhilGEPS portal for bidding notices take a lot of time. To find projects faster, why not set an email alert for new notices that fits your business? You can do so through Project Finder, our free database of government contracts from PhilGEPS and LGUs. Here’s how:
- On your browser, visit https://my.firstcircle.ph/project-finder.
- Enter your preferred keywords and filters, then click Apply.
- After getting your search results, click the Get Alerts for This Search button.
- Enter your email address, choose between Daily or Weekly frequency, and click Create Alert.
Tip #2. Before bidding, contact the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairperson
While the PhilGEPS bidding process and portal is designed for fair and transparent government procurement, there is always a slim chance that a posted bidding notice is no longer available. This may be due to human error or other factors. To make sure you only bid for open projects, always reach out to the BAC chairperson listed in the bidding notice.
Tip #3. Attend the pre-bidding conference
After a procuring entity posts a bidding notice, they will hold a pre-bidding conference. This is answer questions about the project, provide project specifications, and let bidders know where they can acquire bidding documents. This is done over Zoom video conferencing or a face-to-face meeting; the exact conference details should be in the initial bidding notice.
The pre-bidding conference is attended by the procuring entity, project end user, and potential bidders. Thus, it’s your chance to know your potential competitors and improve your chances of submitting the lowest bid, while making sure you still get a decent profit. You’ll also know the budget to be prepared for the project, and the expected project payout.
Tip #4. Be thorough and don’t seal bid documents until submission
Bidding documents are the legal or business documents, technical documents, and financial documents that you are required to purchase and submit for every bid. PhilGEPS tracks the number of bidders in a project through the number of document purchases. In addition, the procuring entity may request for additional documents.
The cost of documents varies per project, and they are non-refundable even if you lost the bid. For these reasons, you must be thorough with every requirement noted in the bidding notice. It’s common to get disqualified at the technical eligibility stage over missing signatures, a bid amount that isn’t written in words, or a mislabeled envelope. Being thorough is easier said than done, however, as the documents can run up to hundreds of pages. This is why it’s also best to leave your bid envelopes unsealed until you’re finally going in to submit them — it gives you a chance to review your bid and make important fixes before the bidding deadline.
Tip #5. Bid failed? You can still appeal
After the deadline for bid submission has passed, BAC will hold another meeting, this time to open the bidding documents they have received. This is normally attended by observers and bidders.
First, the business documents and technical eligibility documents submitted by all bidders will be reviewed by the committee. If you make it past this stage, you’re almost there — all that’s left is the opening of financial bids. The project is then awarded to the lowest bidder who passes the project’s technical and financial requirements.
If you’ve been deemed ineligible at any stage of the process but your bid still turned out the lowest, you can file a written appeal with BAC. They will then take a few days to consider your appeal before finally releasing the notice of award for the final winning bid.
Though PhilGEPS requirements and processes for bidding are lengthy and difficult, the business growth a government contract can provide is still worth the cost. We wish you good luck with the bidding process!
Need business financing for a government contract? Click here to apply for PhilGEPS Project Financing, First Circle’s funding option for government suppliers. Eligible clients receive a funding certification to strengthen bids, as well as longer payment terms that only start upon project completion.