Lopez orders PITC to remit interest income
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Monday said he had directed Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) to reconcile its figures with the Department of Finance (DOF) to remit the balance of the interest income from funds that a senator said had been “parked” in the state-run firm.
In a Viber message, Lopez, who is also PITC chair, also said: “We have no problem [with] remitting the balance of interest income earned from the funds, especially if it is to fund the requirements to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“PITC is a government corporation and we have a whole-of-government approach in fighting the pandemic,” he said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier requested Lopez to return the interest earned from “funds held in trust” at PITC to the national coffers.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has accused PITC of using “a devious scheme” to illegally keep at least P1 billion in government funds.
Asked to comment, Drilon said Lopez, by agreeing to return the balance of PITC’s interest earnings to the treasury, recognized that such profits did not rightfully belong to the corporation but the government.
“The fact that Secretary Lopez has agreed to remit the balance of the interest income is a recognition that the principal fund, the investment of which gave rise to the interest income, is not owned by PITC but by the national government,” he said in a text message to the Inquirer.
“The return of the investment income is a legal obligation of PITC, nothing more nothing less,” Drilon said. —WITH A REPORT FROM DJ YAP INQ
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