4 suppliers of PPE, test kits deny claims of overpricing | Inquirer News
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4 suppliers of PPE, test kits deny claims of overpricing

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:10 AM September 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Four firms that supplied the government with testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic have taken offense at accusations that the goods they supplied were overpriced or of low quality.

In a statement, Hafid N’ Erasmus Corp. (HNE) said the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) first awarded it with a contract to supply 30,000 PPE sets in May due to “low” production capacity that month before getting another contract for 250,000 sets in June thanks to a higher production volume.

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But HNE said PPE prices were high from March to June “due to the high demand in the market which [was] obviously experienced worldwide.”

“The cost of [our] products are far more price-competitive,” HNE said.

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HNE said it was PS-DBM that “encouraged” the firm to build manufacturing facilities in Parañaque City and Carmona, Laguna, where 200 workers produce coveralls, washable face masks, aprons, as well as other medical items.

HNE secured P398.75 million in deals through emergency procurement when the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law was in effect from March to June, during which negotiated procurement was allowed to fast-track purchases.

In a Sept. 16 letter to Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher A. Lao, also PS-DBM officer in charge, Integrated Energy Systems and Resources Inc. managing director Susan Tecson said the filtered pipette tip and universal transport medium procured from the company last June were offered at lower prices due to a free trade agreement between China and Asean member-countries like the Philippines.

Integrated Energy Systems and Resources supplied two deals worth P58.56 million through a joint venture with Unimasters Conglomeration, GPPB data showed.

In a separate letter to Lao, Lifeline Diagnostics Supplies Inc. president and chair Rex Tiri said the company was “confident that there was no single transaction that our price is higher in government compared to private hospitals and laboratories because of our uniform pricing—we can prove that.”

“We reiterate that all our transactions with the government are transparent and above board,” Tiri told Lao.

Lifeline Diagnostics snagged P476.99 million worth of deals under the Bayanihan 1 Law.

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XuZhou Construction Machinery Group Import and Export Co. Ltd. which supplied P1.89 billion worth of medical items, said their products were of good quality.

“It is a baseless and irresponsible accusation that quality is inferior and overpriced. Our prices are cheap and the same as what was offered to other countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and others,” the company said.

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.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), overpriced PPE deals, personal protective equipment (PPE)
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