Imee Marcos vs Corruption: Senator Wants Two Agencies Abolished

To address corruption in PS-DBM, PITC.
Photo/s: Imee Marcos/Facebook

Sen. Imee Marcos has filed separate measures seeking the abolition of two procuring agencies established during her father's presidency which have now been involved in "systemic corruption."

Senate Bills 2388 and 2389 called for the abolition of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management and the Philippine International Trading Corp., whose functions have become "archaic and irrelevant" in the current times, Marcos said.

The PS-DBM was established in 1978 to serve as the integrated procurement system of the national government, and through which agencies secure common-use supplies and equipment.

Marcos said the PS-DBM's functions have already been undermined by the passage of several provisions strengthening the government's procurement system.

It also became a "fertile breeding ground of graft and corruption," Marcos added, citing the transfer of P42 billion worth of COVID-19 funds from the Department of Health to PS-DBM without proper documentation which state auditors flagged.

"As such, [PS-DBM] should be abolished as it has outlived its functions to the national government."

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The PITC was established in 1973 to facilitate trade with socialist and other centrally planned economy countries, but Marcos said there are currently only two such nations in existence --- Cuba and North Korea.

The agency has also become a "repository of unobligated funds," Marcos said, pointing to the P11.02 billion worth of funds transferred by various agencies from 2014 to 2020 which have remained unutilized as of December 31 last year.

"There are reports of source agencies using the interest of money transferred to the PITC to generate savings, which are used by the source agency to fund bonuses, among others," she added.

The PS-DBM is currently a subject of the ongoing Senate investigation into the misuse of P67 billion worth of COVID-19 funds. Sen. Franklin Drilon has also consistently questioned the functions of the PITC.

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