Galvez says P20B not for 3M but 11M PPE sets
MANILA, Philippines—The chief implementer of the government strategy in defeating COVID-19 on Wednesday (May 13) denied claims of irregularity in the plan to buy an additional P20 billion worth of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, was reacting to an article first published in Rappler and the editorial in Philippine Daily Inquirer about the purchase of the medical supplies.
The Rappler story quoted Galvez as saying the government was buying 3 million PPE sets worth P20 billion to keep a stockpile that would last until August. “We are stockpiling on PPE sets because this COVID-19 might last until 2021,” he was quoted as saying.
The Inquirer editorial published on Wednesday describe the planned purchase as a “rip off” as it “translates to a staggering P6,667 per PPE.”
The Department of Health (DOH) had already purchased 1 million PPE sets from China for P1.8 billion.
“Not only was I misquoted, but the said articles also cast a cloud of doubt not only on the integrity of the National Task Force against COVID-19 but on government as a whole,” Galvez said.
He said the 3 million PPE sets to be purchased for June to August is only the first tranche of 11 million PPE sets that the government was set to purchase.
“I would like to put on record that the P20 billion I mentioned during the May 9 interview in Davao City is not for the purchase of the 3 million sets of personal protective equipment alone but for 11 million complete PPE sets,” he said.
“As I explained during the interview, the other remaining PPEs to be purchased under the P20-billion budget is part of the government’s effort to stockpile PPEs and other essential medical supplies and equipment until 2021,” he added.
The PPE sets would also be bought from different manufacturers, both local and foreign.
“As we know, there is a shortage of PPEs in the global market. And common sense dictates that it is simply impossible and too risky to source out 11 million PPEs worth P20-billion from a single supplier in a single transaction,” Galvez said.
He sought to assure the public that the procurement of PPE sets and medical supplies had been through “a very rigid procurement process with the assurance that we will provide the highest medical standard.”
“As President Rodrigo Duterte has time and again emphasized, he will not tolerate any anomalous transactions in government,” Galvez said.
“We, in the NTF, will make sure that the President’s directives are fully implemented as we continue to fight this disease,” he said.
Edited by TSB
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