Solon seeks probe into ‘irregularities’ in P8.1-B Barangay Health Station project
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the Department of Health (DOH)’s P8.1 billion school-based Barangay Health Station (BHS)–TSEKAP Project.
In House Resolution No. 1987 filed on Monday, Zarate asked the House committee on good government and public accountability to spearhead the probe.
Zarate lamented how public funds were allotted for the project “yet the people ended up with nothing but half-finished, dilapidated and unusable BHS.”
“While the government would not restore the P1.488B cutback in the maintenance and other operating expenses for the national and regional public hospitals for 2018, it was able to allot P8.1B for some unfunded project like the school-based BHS,” he added.
The “wasted P8.1B is even more than twice the 2018 allotment for the maintenance and other operating expenses of the 66 DOH-retained public hospitals of P3.743B,” according to the opposition lawmaker.
Aquino’s Kalusugan Pangkalahatan program
During former President Benigno Aquino III’s Kalusugan Pangkalahatan program, a memorandum of agreement was signed by the DOH, Department of Education and Department of Interior and Local Government on Jan. 26, 2016 to establish BHS in public elementary schools.
Former Health Secretary Janette Garin and Atty. Juliane Jorge of J. Bros Construction signed a contract for the first phase of the project on Jan.16, 2016.
The contract indicated that 3,200 BHS will be built within 240 calendar days.
For the second phase, P3.6 billion was allotted for the construction of 2,500 BHS.
However, when J. Bros Construction submitted its Notice of termination of Contract on March 13, 2018 to the DOH, it demanded a payment of P2.1 billion for accomplishing phases 1 and 2 of the project.
However, according to the DOH, only 270 BHS were built and only eight have complete documents.
In March 2018, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, after receiving the contract of termination from the J. Bros Construction, organized a fact-checking committee and requested the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate on the project.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit (COA) released an audit report last December 2017, saying “the project on establishing 5,700 BHS in public schools in 2015 and 2016 was obstructed by ineligible and non-workable project sites that were not fully validated before project contracting and implementation due to absence of specific guidelines.”
The report added that the non-completion of BHS in public schools adversely affected the procurement and distribution of 5,000 TSEKAP Packages amounting to P175 million. — Micah Yurielle P. Atienza/INQUIRER.net Intern
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