Finance chief: Proposed abolition of PS-DBM, PITC ‘worth looking at’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Wednesday said the proposal to abolish the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) as well as the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) is “worth looking at.”

Dominguez made the comment during a Senate committee hearing on the Department of Finance's proposed budget for 2022. Senator Imee Marcos sought his opinion on the bills she recently filed, which seek to dissolve the two entities over alleged systemic corruption.

“I think all agencies in government should be regularly reviewed for possible abolition, in the same way that we do in the GCG (Governance Commission for GOCCs),” Dominguez added.

The PS-DBM and the PITC, which is under the Department of Trade and Industry, are being questioned by lawmakers after state auditors reported that billions of pesos in public funds transferred by government agencies remain parked in their offices.

The Department of Health transferred ₱41 billion to the PS-DBM for the purchase of medical supplies for pandemic response, some of which were allegedly overpriced.

In pushing for the abolition, Marcos said the PS-DBM “has become a fertile breeding ground of graft and corruption,” while the PITC merely became “a repository for unobligated funds of national government agencies.”

Last week, Commission on Audit chairman Michael Aguinaldo said he supports the move to do away with the PS-DBM and the PITC.