9 December 2020 via Facebook live


Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.

The Department of Trade and Industry, with Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) as attached agency, is grateful for this opportunity to address the issues thrown against it. Clarifying these issues also allow us to brief the committee on the mandate of the PITC. Recently, marami pong lumabas na balita tungkol po rito at atin pong ipinapaliwanag ang mandato ng PITC.

First and foremost, we emphasize that DTI is one with the administration’s campaign against any form of corruption. DTI and its attached agencies are cautious and meticulous in all our dealings. Any form of insinuation of corruption therefore merits our complete and serious attention, and in fact, immediate investigations are undertaken in the process.

We thus welcome the calls to initiate public hearings on the allegations haphazardly thrown against the PITC that it maintains idle funds on behalf of various government agencies in order to circumvent auditing and budgetary obligations.

We assure the public that no government funds are lost or wasted. WALA PONG PERANG NAWAWALA. Everything is accounted for at nandiyan po ‘yan nakahanda para sa procurement process na ongoing. The funds are committed for both ongoing procurement projects and awarded contracts are not the same as funds “parked” nor “idle.”


As a brief backgrounder, the PITC was established during the Marcos administration through the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 252 in 1973 in view of the demands for a formal institutional framework for the promotion of foreign trade and the development of domestic industries. To achieve the same, PITC has been given the power to engage in both foreign procurement as well as foreign marketing and distribution.

These functions were affirmed in the Aquino administration through the Administrative Code of 1987 and Executive Order No. 133 on the reorganization of the DTI and its attached agencies. Then President Aquino, in promulgating EO 133, had no intention of cancelling the functions of the PITC.

EO 133 established the DTI as the primary coordinative, promotive, facilitative and regulatory arm of government for the country’s trade, industry and investment activities. The PITC, on the other hand, was attached as an integral part thereto, to implement the department’s programs and to cope with the need of a streamlined bureaucracy.

The mandate of the PITC on procurement is further recognized by the Arroyo administration which issued Executive Order No. 442, Series of 2005, designating the PITC as the lead coordinating agency to make quality and essential medicines available, affordable and accessible to the public which includes the mandate to undertake the procurement, sourcing and marketing of quality, essential and low-priced generic medicines needed by the Filipino consumers.

We are thus confident to say that the PITC has been effective in discharging its functions since its inception as evidenced by the repeated recognition of its mandate in the promotion of international trade and importation as an agent for procurement.


We are aware that the issues raised against the PITC are on the seemingly “idle” funds held by the agency. We reiterate that the funds are not idle, but shall be used to pay for contractual commitments of procurement projects, both awarded and on-going. All funds are thus duly accounted for.

These statements are not without basis. In fact, existing laws give us several oversight mechanisms that preclude PITC from engaging in anomalous dealings. For one, the PITC is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board is composed of officials coming from the NEDA, DA, DENR, DBP and PNB, as well as representatives from the Office of the President and other appointees of the President. Accordingly, any action the PITC undertakes cannot be unilateral and all decisions come from a collegiate body.

Moreover, the PITC is under the regulatory and monitoring authority of the Governance Commission for GOCCs which serves as the central advisory, monitoring and oversight body of GOCCs. Through the GCG, the operations of GOCCs, such as PITC, are rationalized and monitored centrally in order that government assets and resources are used efficiently and the Government exposure to all forms of liabilities including subsidies is warranted and incurred through prudent means.

In addition, a resident COA Auditor is assigned in the PITC to examine, audit and settle accounts, funds, financial transactions, and resources of the corporation.

In this regard, we highlight that even the public is not precluded from seeking clarificatory data and information on the dealings of PITC through the Freedom of Information initiative, giving the public the right to access information, public records and official records.

In fact, immediately we asked PITC to produce the official records and submit to the Office of Senator Drilon documentation on the status of the covered projects.

Napagusapan din po yung sinasabing commission—wala pong commission. The law creating PITC and the Administrative Code of 1987 empowers it to charge service fee, especially since it is self-sustaining. WALA PONG BUDGET ALLOCATION NA NAKUKUHA ANG PITC MULA SA GOBYERNO.

‘Yung fees po, meron pong fees schedule ranging from 1% to 4%. The higher the amount, the lower the service fee, such that PHP 1 billion and above procurement projects will have 1% service fee.

Be that as it may, as agreed with the DOF and the DBM, we will evaluate and assist in determining which procurement projects may be discontinued. But again, this would have to be discussed with the agencies concerned because we should take note that the agencies are the ones budgeted and are already expecting procurement of the necessary equipment and whatever materials they asked PITC to procure. If we are just to return this budget, then that means that mawawalan na ng procurement projects itong mga agency o mawawala na ang mga equipment na kinakailangan nila, and this will be a disservice to the agencies. They are under a contract of negotiation between agency and PITC, and at the same time it will be less efficient in serving its function as it serves the people. So, it will also be a disservice to the people.

We should really review each project whether the agencies would confirm that these are all ongoing. And I must say in 2019, nagkaroon na po ng clean-up drive ang PITC at talagang isinoli yung mga matagal nang hindi natutuloy ‘yung procurement either because tumatagal sa review ng Terms of Reference or nagkakaroon ng failed biddings. That is why we are saying all the current accounts are really active accounts.

The DTI has formed its own task force to conduct a preliminary verification of the exact status of ongoing procurement projects between PITC and other government agencies. In the meantime, the DTI has instructed PITC to review its policy on the remittance of interest income, which we understand is the practice even before this Administration. PITC is here to cite also several mandates, including its mandate to manage the funds in behalf of the agencies concerned. 50% of those funds are remitted to the National Treasury every year and we see religious remittances of these dividends.

That said, we remain confident and we stand by the integrity and professionalism of our civil servants in the PITC. Any baseless accusations and denigration of our esteemed colleague creates disservice to the country and the general welfare of the public it works for. We hope that, in this pandemic, efforts would be focused on serving the Filipino, instead of taking away from genuine efforts made by the administration for the people.

Maraming salamat po.

Date of Release: 10 December 2020