Gov’t to review projects funded by P33 billion in PITC
MANILA, Philippines — The government will review the projects funded by the P33 billion lodged with the Philippine International Trading Corp., (PITC) and return to the national treasury the amount for purchases that will no longer be continued so that these can be used for other purposes, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte had no problem with the P33 billion left with the PITC, a government trading company.
These were not idle funds and were for projects undergoing different stages of procurement, Roque said.
“The President said there was no issue here,” Roque said in a press briefing.
Senators had called out the PITC for holding P33 billion in “parked” funds and said government agencies were using the corporation to avoid the requirement of returning unspent public funds under the cash-based General Appropriations Act.
They called for the return of the P33 billion to the national treasury to free up more government funds to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.
Roque said the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, and Department of Budget and Management would go over the amounts left with the PITC and would determine which of the projects supported by the funds would still continue.
“The funds for the projects that won’t be continued would be returned to the national treasury by the agencies that gave them to the PITC so that the President could use them for other purposes,” he said.
He said Duterte would accept the recommendation of agencies, but would make sure the projects would really have to be canceled.
Not all of the purchases funded by the P33 billion could be scrapped, he said.
There was P11 billion for a Department of National Defense procurement, which has to continue, he said.
Roque also said the PITC would remit to the national government 100 percent of the interest earned by the P33 billion it held in trust.
The PITC was entitled to keep 50 percent of the interest.
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