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PITC, PNP coordinating to fast-track equipment procurement, delivery

After the Commission on Audit reported that the Philippine International Trading Corporation had yet to deliver half a billion worth of equipment to the Philippine National Police, the PITC on Sunday clarified that all ongoing PNP projects were being fast tracked and savings from the projects had been returned to the government.

According to a PITC statement, current PITC President Dr. Emmie Liza Perez-Chiong, who assumed office last November 2021, had all PNP savings from procurement projects, amounting to P29,180,720, returned to the Bureau of Treasury.

"The current President (Chiong) has directed its finance department to copy furnish PITC’s and PNP’s respective Commission of Audit residents, and PNP’s finance, proofs of receipt by the Bureau of Treasury of funds returned for ease of reference and reconciliation of funds," read the statement.

Furthermore, the PITC said that Chiong was personally coordinating with PNP officials to fast-track the implementation of all ongoing projects.

"To date the remaining funds for the PNP Projects is P408,354,840.00," said the PITC.

In its 2021 audit report on the PNP, the COA said that out of the P1.348 billion in funds transferred to the PITC in 2016, “requested items amounting to P602.768 million remained undelivered and savings from completed projects were not returned/remitted to the BTr (Bureau of the Treasury) as of December 31, 2021.”

The PNP engaged PITC, as a servicing agency, to undertake its procurement as authorized under Section 53.6 of the revised implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

However, the audit body said the PITC only delivered and liquidated requested items equivalent to P744,848,393.32 from 2018 to 2021.

Constant coordination

For its part, the PNP confirmed that it was coordinating with the PITC on the procurement and delivery of equipment.

In his statment, PNP officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Vicente Danao Jr. said that of the P1.348 billion it transferred to PITC in 2016 to procure various mission-critical equipment, 70% had already been fully utilized and the corresponding items had been delivered.

“Throughout the years, the logistics arm of the PNP has been in constant coordination with PITC to ensure successful procurement and timely and complete delivery, especially of the remaining equipment,” he added.

Liquidated damages

In its report, the COA had also recommended that the PNP impose liquidated damages from PITC suppliers for the late deliveries.

In response, the PNP said its Directorate for Logistics had sent a letter to the PITC in March instructing “the latter to impose liquidated damages for delayed projects.”

However, the PITC said that they needed to determine if the conditions for the implementation of liquidated damages under Section 68 of RA 9184 and Section 68 of its Implementing Rules and Regulations were present.

Section 68, titled Liquidated Damages, says that "[a]ll contracts executed in accordance with this Act shall contain a provision on liquidated damages which shall be payable in case of breach thereof. The amount thereof shall be specified in the IRR."

The IRR, meanwhile, states that “[a]ll contracts executed in accordance with the Act and this IRR shall contain a provision on liquidated damages which shall be payable by the contractor in case of breach thereof. For the procurement of Goods, Infrastructure Projects and Consulting Services, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be at least equal to one-tenth of one percent (0.001) of the cost of the unperformed portion for every day of delay.

"Once the cumulative amount of liquidated damages reaches ten percent (10%) of the amount of the contract, the Procuring Entity may rescind or terminate the contract, without prejudice to other courses of action and remedies available under the circumstances.” — DVM, GMA News