House Minority bloc wants probe of DOH’s overstocked, undistributed medicines
MANILA, Philippines — The House Minority bloc is calling for an investigation into the reported P3 billion overstocked medicines languishing at various Department of Health (DOH) warehouses and are set to expire or have already expired.
The group led by Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. filed House Resolution No. 203 Wednesday following the reported confirmation of Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo that about P3 billion worth of medicines remained undistributed by the DOH. The confirmation came after the Commission on Audit revealed in its 2018 report that the DOH has failed to dispatch some P367 million worth of medicines and medical supplies.
Abante said in the resolution that this “unacceptable” failure could be considered “misuse of public funds, if not outright graft and corruption on the part of the DOH officials who are tasked to implement the rules and regulations relative to the procurement, inventory, use, control, and distribution of medicine.”
“With so many of our people in need of medicine, with medicines so expensive it’s beyond the reach of our citizens, this is not just wasteful, it is criminal,” he said during their weekly press conference.
“Managot na ang dapat managot, ayusin na ang dapat ayusin. We cannot allow this problem to continue, this is simply unacceptable,” he added.
Former Health Secretary and now Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin meanwhile blasted the DOH for its “poor leadership.” She said the agency’s leadership should have retained her policy of monthly reporting and monitoring of accomplishments.
“This is a reflection of poor leadership in the Department of Health… Hindi po natanggal ang pondo (para sa warehouse at gamot)… pero ang nakakalungkot po parang nawala po ang programa and it is sad to see that all of these medicines, even life-saving vaccines… HIV testing kits are all expiring inside,” Garin said.
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