‘Napagiiwanan’ na PITC, Bubusisiin ng Senado

Upang matiyak na hindi ito nakikidoble sa ibang ahensiya, kailangang mapag-aralan ang mga umiiral na tungkulin ng Philippine International Trading Center (PITC).

Binigyang-diin ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa harap ng usapin na mistulang napipigilan nito ang pag-realign ng pondo para sa mahahalagang proyekto.

“The issue is this: If the agencies procure items via their own Bids and Awards Committees or the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service, the funds that are not used can be converted into savings. The President, Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Justice are allowed by the Constitution to realign these to other items within their respective offices. But funds with the PITC become idle and are returned to the Treasury,” pagsisiwalat ni Lacson sa panayam ng ABS-CBN News Channel.

“So development is stunted in some ways because funds that should have been available are returned to the Treasury and cannot be realigned for other needs,” dagdag ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson Stresses Need to Revisit Functions of ‘Redundant’ PITC

Ang PITC ay nilikha sa bisa ng Presidential Decree 252 in 1973. Sa pamamagitan ng PD 1071, nagpalawak ang mandato nito para maging “one of the drivers of Philippine trade worldwide.”

Isa sa mga inihalimbawa ni Lacson ay ang pagkakatengga sa ahensiya ng P9.6 bilyon na pondo ng Armed Forces of the Philippines, kung saan, ang P400 milyon na para Army ay ibinalik na lamang sa Natjonal Treasury.

Sa interpelasyon ni Lacson sa privilege speech ni Senador Franklin Drilon nitong Martes, ipinunto ng una kapag ang isang ahensiya ay nabigong gugulin ang badyet na nakalaan para dito sa itinakdang panahon, nawawala na ang karapatan ng pamahalaan na gamitin ito oras na ito ay maideposito na sa PITC.

Binanggit ni Lacson na sa ilalim ng Saligang Batas, ang Presidente, Senate President, House Speaker ar Chief Justice at kahit na mga namumuno ng mga constitutuional offices ay awtorisadong mag-realign ng savings ng mga pinamumunuang ahensiya.

“But if the appropriations allocated to a certain government agency (that) has already contracted PITC and deposited the money to that corporation, then instead of allowing the heads of agencies or departments, executive, legislative and judiciary, instead of giving them the opportunity to use those savings to augment the items, then it is totally lost because it’s already under the account of PITC,” diin ni Lacson.

β€œThe PITC could be redundant since the creation of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management, even as government agencies now have their own Bids and Awards Committees,” ayon pa kay Lacson.

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