House official files bill abolishing PITC

House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez is seeking passage of a bill that would abolish the Marcos regime-created Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC).

The Cagayan de Oro City representative said the PITC, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is also hounded by issues and controversies,

including the transfer of P11-billion from 2014 to 2020 by various source agencies, which funds remained unused as of December 2020.

“These transfers were made to increase the budget utilization rate of government agencies, as funds transferred to the PITC are considered obligated and disbursed already,” Rodriguez said in filing House Bill No. 10221.

Rodriguez also said there were reports that source agencies are using the interest earnings of billions they turn over to the PITC, a state-owned corporation, for bonuses and other emoluments.

He said the PITC was created under Presidential Decree No. 252 to establish and pursue trade with “socialist and other centrally planned economy countries.”

But presently, he pointed out there are only two such economies - Cuba and North Korea.

He said the trade liberation and the passage of Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, have made the PITC "irrelevant and redundant."

Under the bill, the DTI will be mandated to take over the functions of the PITC upon its abolition.

The bill also provides paid separation or retirement benefits for PITC personnel that would be affected or displaced by its abolition.

Likewise, the bill seeks to ensure that any unused funds transfered by government agencies to PITC be returned to source agencies.

Rodriguez earlier also filed a separate bill seeking the abolition of the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (DBM-PS) which has faced similar allegations of fund transfer and procurement irregularities.

The DBM-PS is also now the center of congressional probe regarding the alleged multi-billion purchase of overpriced COVID-19 pandemic supplies