DOH defends purchase of PPEs worth P1,800 each
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday defended its purchase of 1 million sets of personal protective equipment (PPEs), valued at P1.8 billion, for health frontliners in the nation’s battle against COVID-19.
In an online press conference, the agency was asked why it purchased PPEs at P1,800 each when the Office of the Vice President was able to buy a set for only P400.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that they bought a set that included a complete PPE set that included N95 masks, overalls, gloves, head cover, shoe covers, goggles, surgical mask, and surgical gowns.
“Hindi pare-pareho ang mga PPEs na binibili ng iba’t-bang grupo at binibinili ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan (DOH)… Ang binibili namin ay mga sets na iba-iba para sa ating facilities,” Vergeire said.
(Not all PPEs being purchased by various groups and DOH are the same… What we’re buying are sets that vary for our facilities.)
“Ang set na prinocure namin ay pinakakumpleto, may walo na PPE type sa loob ng sets na sinasabi natin,” she added.
(The set that we procured is the most-complete, there are eight PPE types inside the sets.)
She also noted that a PPE prescribed for health workers in the intensive care unit is different from PPEs used by those who conduct contact tracing of patients.
The Health official nevertheless assured that all PPEs bought by DOH underwent the proper procurement process through the procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management.
As of Monday, DOH has distributed PPEs for 14 hospitals nationwide. The first batch of 200,000 PPE sets is expected to be delivered from April 1 to 6 while the second batch of 700,000 sets will be delivered between April 6 and 24.
Senator Grace Poe earlier questioned DOH’s purchase of “overpriced” PPEs since it would amount to P1,800 each, asserting its market value only ranges from P400 to P1,000.
READ: Poe seeks explanation from DOH for ‘overpriced’ sets of PPE
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