Lawmaker grills DOH over P11.89-M worth of video conference equipment | Inquirer News

Lawmaker grills DOH over P11.89-M worth of video conference equipment

/ 06:02 PM August 20, 2021

Lawmaker grills DOH over P11.89 million worth of video conference equipment STOCK IMAGE

MANILA, Philippines — A  lawmaker on Friday sought answers from the Department of Health (DOH) over its procurement of video conference equipment amounting to nearly P12 million.

During Friday’s hearing of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker Bienvenido Abante Jr., cited a report of the Commission on Audit and asked the DOH about the video conference equipment and video conference desktop with video conference license that the agency bought last March 5 for a total of P11.89 million.


Eric Tayag, director of the DOH’s knowledge management and information technology service office, said they indeed purchased 31 units of those.


Based on Abante’s computation, the DOH procured the equipment at around P380,000 per unit.

According to Tayag, they bought the video conference equipment and video conference desktop with a video conference software license for telemedicine purposes.

“Itong mga video conference equipment ay gagamitin po namin sa telemedicine. Ito po ay DX80 naka-bundle po ‘yung WebEx license. Ibig sabihin po niyan ay merong one-year subscription po sa WebEx…it will allow us to improve the operations sa ospital (in the hospital),” Tayag explained.

(These video conference equipment will be used for telemedicine. These are the DX80 units which are bundled with a WebEx license, this means it already has a one-year subscription to WebEx…it will allow us to improve operations in hospitals.)

The 31 units will be given to three hospitals that would enable patients to interact with healthcare workers without the need for physical interaction, he added.

“Ang idea po kasi dito, habang may pandemic po tayo ay mabawasan natin yung contact ng ating mga health workers sa mga pasyente,” he also said.


(The idea here is, while we’re in a pandemic we will minimize the physical contact of health workers with patients.)

“Ilalagay po ‘yan sa areas na kung saan nakakapag-interact po ang pasyente. Halimbawa po maglalagay sa emergency room, isa sa pharmacy, isa sa laboratory, sa x-ray,” Tayag added.

(These will be placed in areas where health workers would have interactions with patients. For example, the emergency room, one for the pharmacy, one for the laboratory, the x-ray room.)

Abante noted, however, that a “top-of-the-line” Apple Mac desktop costs only P125,000 per unit while a Zoom license only amounts to P600,000 per year for 50 users.

But Tayag reiterated that the video conference equipment procured by the DOH is already a bundle, consisting of a desktop touchscreen monitor and a one-year WebEx license.

Further, Tayag said the amount for the DOH-purchased video conference equipment, which he noted went through public bidding, was not based on the lowest price but on the lowest calculated bid.

“Hindi lang po tinitignan ‘yung presyo kundi ‘yung kakayahan po ng supplier o ng proponent na ito po ay maide-deliver ayon sa specifications [at] sa tinakda naming panahon na maide-deliver niya,” the DOH official said.

(We are not looking at the price but we are also looking at the capability of the supplier or proponent to deliver this in accordance with specifications and on time.)

Abante then asked for the submission to the House committee on public accounts documents detailing the DOH’s purchase of the said equipment.

Tayag assured the DOH will furnish the panel with the requested documents.

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The DOH recently said it decided to cancel its purchase of four “high-end” laptops worth a total of P700,000 after doubts were raised that the gadgets may have been “overpriced.”


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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: budget, COVID-19, DoH, House of Representatives

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