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Poe seeks explanation from DOH for ‘overpriced’ sets of PPE

/ 02:26 PM March 31, 2020
Grace Poe

Senator Grace Poe. INQUIRER.net file photo / Christia Marie Ramos

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday demanded an explanation over what she said were overpriced sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) that the Department of Health (DOH) recently purchased.

In a statement, Poe questioned why the DOH purchased PPE sets at P1,800 each when market value was between P400 and P1,000.

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She said cheap but good quality PPE sets would have only cost the DOH about P400 million to 1 billion, which she pointed out would generate P800 million in savings at the minimum.

“Confronting an extraordinary public health crisis requires prompt response but in doing so, let us not forget the need for the judicious use of fund releases,” Poe said.

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The DOH earlier announced that it is awaiting the delivery of one million sets of PPE amounting to P1.8 billion.

The PPE sets would be distributed to public and private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients and persons under investigation or under monitoring.

“Ang bawat piso na matitipid natin sa ganitong panahon ay maaari pa nating magamit sa iba pang mga programa ng gobyerno para makapagbigay ayuda sa ating mga kababayan na higit ring nangangailangan ng tulong tulad ng financial aid at pagkain pang araw-araw,” Poe said.

(Every single peso that we can save during these times can be used for other government programs that give financial and food assistance to Filipinos in need of help).

The senator then appealed to the DOH to ease the bureaucratic bottleneck and red tape in the distribution of PPE donations and other critical medical devices to hospitals designated to treat COVID-19 patients.

“More than two weeks into the enhanced quarantine, swift action and massive testing will help accelerate collaborative efforts to contain the pandemic, a valuable lesson we could learn from our Asian counterparts who have become successful in slowing down the spread of the disease,” she stressed.

She also called for urgency and expressed hope that the DOH could further streamline its processes in making donated PPEs readily available to hospitals and frontliners amid the rise of COVID-19 cases which has now reached over 1,500.

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“Nagpapasalamat tayo at nagdadatingan na ang mga kagamitang mahalaga sa pagsugpo ng epidemiyang ito kaya sana ay maipamahagi ito sa mga ospital at ating mga health frontliners sa lalong madaling panahon,” Poe said.

(We are thankful that supplies that would help combat this pandemic are coming in so we need to ensure that these are distributed to our health frontliners as soon as possible).

“Subalit tulad ng pahayag ng Pangulo, hindi ito panahon ng pagsasamantala, kaya’t nananawagan tayo sa DOH na kung maaari ay iprayoridad ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga local manufacturers upang mas makakuha ng murang PPE,” she added.

(But just like what the President said, this is not the time to take advantage of the situation, that’s why we are calling on the DOH to prioritize coordinating with local manufacturers for a cheaper PPE).

Edited by JPV

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, disease, DoH, Nation, news, PPEs, Senator Grace Poe
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