Palace assures: Bong Go will not get credit for medical supplies donated to OCD
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday belied allegations that the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) was tasked to oversee the management of donated medical equipment and supplies for the government’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to allow Senator Christopher “Bong” Go to get credit for it.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier issued Administrative Order No. 27 tasking the OCD to consolidate and distribute donated medical equipment and supplies related to the COVID-19 response.
“There is a piece of false information being circulated that Administrative Order No. 27 was issued to provide Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go an avenue where he can manage the donations and be given credit for the same,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“Senator Go has no access to OCD. And even if he has, by reason of his position, he will not interfere with the task of the OCD, such interference being out of his character,” he added.
Panelo noted that the Department of National Defense (DND) will not allow any “intrusion from outside” with regard to the OCD’s task in the management of the said donations.
Under the AO, the DND is to provide logistical support to the OCD, including the distribution and delivery of the donated medicines, equipment, and the like.
Panelo also dismissed reports that medical items are being held at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) “until the good senator places his name to the packages prior to their release and distribution.”
“Senator Go has his own group of friends who are giving and receiving donations, and delivering them straight to their intended beneficiaries,” he said.
The BOC, Panelo noted, is already fast-tracking the entry of donations to reach the health facilities that need it.
Panelo further stressed that Administrative Order No. 27 does not dissuade private organizations from donating to their preferred hospitals, and is only meant to streamline the process of donations.
“The national government is not dissuading private organizations and individuals to receive or give donations to hospitals of their choice, as well as to their local government units. They are in fact encouraged as every help from all sectors is welcome,” he said.
“Administrative Order No. 27 does not prohibit nor discourage such acts. It is meant to streamline the process of donations to the national government in order that health items may timely reach the intended facilities and beneficiaries,” he added.
The OCD earlier said reports of hospitals being raided to confiscate its medical supplies and equipment are “fake news.”
The Medical City, which was supposedly among the hospitals raided, also denied the reports.
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