Drilon averse to PITC involvement in COVID-19 vaccine procurement
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) should not be involved in the procurement of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 given its supposedly poor performance in delivering items to certain government agencies, Senator Franklin Drilon said Tuesday.
Drilon said the PITC may slow down the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines if it will not be able to do its job properly.
“Sa akin po, dapat hindi. Hindi, dahil sa performance nila (For me, it’s a no. No, because of its performance),” the senator said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo when asked if he believes the PITC should still be involved in the purchase of the vaccines.
“Unang-una kailangan natin ang bakuna, sa aking estimate at least darating mga July or August next year. Kung hindi agad magawa ng PITC ang kanilang trahabo ay talagang hindi po makakarating sa atin ang bakuna on time,” he explained.
(First of all, we need the vaccines immediately, and based on my estimate, it may arrive in the country by July or August next year. If the PITC will not be able to do its job, the vaccines may not arrive on time.)
Drilon also noted that PITC will also have one-percent commission for the amount that will be spent for the vaccines, which will come from the agency that requests the purchase.
The senator also said he is puzzled with this kind of system that provides commission to the state-run trading company.
“Sa pagkakaalam ko, sa negosyo kapag nagbenta ka, ikaw ang magbabayad ng komisyon, supplier. E dito po, ‘yung nagbabayad ng komisyon ay ‘yung ahensya na nagsasabing bilhan mo ako ng ganito. Hindi ko po maintindihan,” he added.
(Based on what I know, in business, the supplier should pay the commission. But here, it is the agency that pays the commission. I cannot understand that.)
According to Drilon, COVID-19 vaccines may also be purchased without the help of PITC, since both the Department of Health and Department of Science and Technology have its own procurement offices that will not require a commission from the purchase.
Drilon earlier said he suspects that over P33 billion in taxpayer money were parked in PITC, which was recently tasked with importing COVID-19 vaccines from pharmaceutical companies.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.