Pangilinan slams gov’t for procurement of imported PPEs
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan lashed out at the government’s decision to procure foreign-made personal protective equipment (PPEs) rather than the ones made in the Philippines that have passed every single test required.
The Inquirer reported that the Department of Health favored PPEs, made in China and other countries, despite local manufacturers mass-producing the said garments that are much-needed in the medical field against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Sa banner story ng Inquirer ngayon, mukhang ginagamit pa ng mga halang ang bituka ang DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Procurement Service para nakawin rin ang bilyon-bilyong pera ng taumbayan na nakalaan para sa PPEs,” said Pangilinan in a statement.
(In Inquirer’s banner story, it seems that those sick in their stomach are using the DBM Procurement Service to steal the billions of taxpayers’ money that were assigned for personal protective equipment.)
Pangilinan argued that Filipino manufacturers have already produced high-quality and cheaper PPEs but, as he relayed the statements of the Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE (CPMP), the government still favored imported protective equipment.
He added that these foreign-made PPEs weren’t tested while those made in the Philippines had to undergo a slew of procedures before getting approval from the government.
The opposition senator then urged the government to procure PPEs made locally to make sure that health workers are well-equipped to combat COVID-19 while also supporting the efforts of the more than 7,000 workers of CPMP and the around 4,000 individuals who will also benefit from the manufacturing business.
Pangilinan has already filed Senate Bill 1759 to support the local production of PPEs and other medical supplies through the use of tax exemptions but this won’t work if the government still favors the importation of PPEs, he said.
“Hindi natin maiwasang itanong ulit: Sino ang kumikita sa imported at overpriced na PPEs?,” said Pangilinan. “Sa gitna ng pandemya, kailangan nating tutukan na huwag nang madagdagan ang libo-libong buhay at milyon-milyong hanapbuhay na nawala.”
(We can’t help it but we do have to ask: who earned in this importation of overpriced PPEs? In the middle of a pandemic, we need to focus on the thousands of lives and millions of livelihood that have been lost.)
“We call on the Cabinet Economic Cluster to push for the purchase of local PPEs and other COVID-related medical supplies and equipment. Our country needs this government fund-independent stimulus to our economy.”
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