Lopez welcomes review of PITC mandate

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    The Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) is open to proposals for a review of its mandate following allegations it is being used by agencies to skirt budget rules.

    Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez , PITC chairman, also clarified the agency is not yet on board the planned procurement for vaccines.

    In a CNN Philippines interview yesterday, Lopez defended the agency as being efficient and successful in fulfilling its role as a procurement government-owned and control corporation.

    Lopez said the agency’s dividend remittance to the national treasury has in fact been growing the past three years from P38 million in 2016; P64.5 million in 2017; P281.6 million in 2018 and P324 million last year.

    “It’s (PITC) is doing its job well,” said Lopez.

    The PITC derives its income from graduated service fees it charges on procurement, depending on the cost of the purchase.

    He added agencies have two years to complete their procurement made via PITC to give way to the completion of the pre-bidding processes such as the setting of terms of reference.

    Lopez debunked claims of P33-billion worth of procurement funds parked in PITC, saying P21 billion are all ongoing and P11 billion have been awarded.

    “These are active accounts,” Lopez told reporters in a text message.

    He added it is not unusual ome procurement projects are carried over the following year as these biddings go through a judicious process.

    Meanwhile, Lopez said the PITC has yet to get a mandate to procure in behalf of the Department of Health vaccines against the new coronavirus disease 2019.

    He said if the amount to be used to purchase is budgeted, the procurement will be done by the Department of Budget and Management.