FIRE TRUCKS DUE YEAR-END
The Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) has announced that the procurement process for fire trucks and fire station needs of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is on track and awards for project implementation shall be issued before the year ends.
PITC issued the statement in response to concerns raised by Senator Ralph Recto on the alleged failure on the part of the government corporation to deliver “P3.27-billion worth of supplies, materials and buildings” to the BFP.
According to PITC Chair and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, “The BFP outsourced the procurement of its fire trucks and the design and build of fire stations across the regions to the PITC in keeping with the Republic Act No. 9184, which is the government procurement law.”
"The PITC is only the procurement agent that works closely with the concerned agencies as to timetable and budget availability. The PITC acts in close collaboration with the BFP, which has representatives in our Bids and Awards Committee, and in the technical working group that approved the terms of reference for every procurement,” the trade chief said.
PITC President Dave Almarinez said that “The BFP contracted the PITC precisely because we are known to exercise strict due diligence to ensure that the contractors and suppliers are above board and able to fully comply with the requirements and needs of the BFP.”
He also assured that PITC shall immediately submit a detailed status report to Senator Recto.
The PITC is a government corporation that is often tapped by major departments and agencies such as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Department of Health (DOH), and the BFP, among several other institutions to ensure an independent and merit-based procurement process.
“Awards for the design and build of 72 fire stations will be out by the end of the year while 26 fire stations are undergoing project implementation which we are confident to finish by the end of December 2020 through a joint effort of the PITC and BFP,” the PITC said.
“We respect and appreciate the concerns raised by Senate President Pro Tempore Recto. The PITC shares his love and concern for our heroic firefighters, which is why we will never tolerate any shortcuts when it comes to the procurement of quality fire trucks and the design and build of fire stations around the country,” Undersecretary Almarinez added.
The PITC emphasized that it exercises full transparency in all of its transactions and that it adheres to the requirements of the Commission on Audit (COA) and the provisions of the procurement law. Undersecretary Almarinez said that PITC has been getting unmodified audit opinion from the COA for four (4) straight years.
“We have become one of the top contributors to government revenues precisely because we try our very best to deliver the best service to our people. This is why government agencies have come to rely on the PITC to service some of its procurement needs while they focus on their core functions and programs,” the PITC chief said.
He added that “We are independent, process-driven, and transparency-oriented. We also value the trust of our partner-agencies and look out for the best interests of their staff and the constituents that they serve.”