Panfilo Lacson

Army has P8B unliquidated funds with PITC — Lacson

November 17, 2021 Marlon Purification 231 views

SENATOR Panfilo Lacson yesterday revealed that at least P8.523 billion funds of the Philippine Army with the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC). remain unliquidated or unaccounted for.

Lacson cited figures from the 2020 Commission on Audit report that showed the PITC received some P15.927 billion from 2007 to 2020 from the Philippine Army alone, with total unliquidated balances in the amount of P8.523 billion.

“Every year, nag-scrounge tayo sa pondo para sa modernization, pati revised modernization program ng AFP, ang sabi natin cause for delay ang funding gaps kasi di napopondohan. Yet we find out from the COA report may unliquidated balances of P8.5 billion just for the Philippine Army,” Lacson said at his interpellation of the Department of National Defense’s budget for 2022.

“Hindi biro-biro ang amounts involved,”he added.

Worse, he said the PITC failed to deliver, as records showed its deliveries were virtually zero – at 0.01 percent in 2019 and 0.22 percent in 2020.

Yet, he said the PITC gained some P640 million from the Army’s P15.9-billion “deposit” due to the four-percent service fee that the PITC charges.

Because of these, Lacson – who chairs the Senate defense committee and is the presidential standard bearer of Partido Reporma – said it is time the DND and AFP do their own procuring.

“I think the DND and the AFP are more capable of procuring… Mas mabuti if they do the procurement themselves, instead of depositing these amounts to the PITC,” he said adding “the data would show that transferring the procurement to the PITC isn’t working.”