PITC to borrow P20B

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    The Philippine International Trade Corp. (PITC) is poised to borrow P20 billion to finance the purchase of vaccines against the new coronavirus disease 2019.

    At the Senate hearing of the budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which is the mother agency of the PITC, sponsor Sen. Sonny Angara said the agency will source the loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

    Angara said the PITC under its mandate acts as the procurement arm of the government where loans to purchase supplies by government agencies are involved.

    The amount each state bank will lend the PITC is yet to be determined.

    Angara said DTI believes this is just the initial loan as the total amount will be finalized by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Finance.

    He said PITC will be paid by the DOH over a five-year period.

    This loan is on top of the P18 billion identified for vaccines of which P2.5 billion has been allotted by the Department of Budget and Management under the National Expenditure Program to the DOH for 2021; the

    P5.5 billion added by the House and the P10 billion of a Senate committee in unprogrammed appropriations.

    At the hearing, Senators Ralph Recto and Franklin Drilon pressed PITC to waive the fees charged in making the purchase.