DOH’s transfer of P42B funds without MOA ‘contrary’ to procurement law — Drilon
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said the transfer by the Department of Health (DOH) of P42 billion to the Procurement Service (PS) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) without a memorandum of agreement (MOA) is against the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Procurement Act.
During the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Lloyd Christopher Lao, former head of the PS-DBM, said there was no need for an MOA if the items being procured are considered common supplies.
“During that time when they were discussing with us, PS-DBM has already been authorized by GPPB (Government Procurement Policy Board) to procure these items because these items are already considered as common supplies,” Lao said.
“There is no need for an MOA if the items being procured to PS-DBM are considered common supplies. These items, in the time, were already declared as common supplies,” he added.
However, Drilon said this is contrary to the IRR of the Procurement Law. He said the non-signing of an MOA was “in violation of the implementing rules.”
“I am sorry, but what you are saying is contrary to the implementing rules and regulations of the Procurement Act. There is nothing there which dispenses with the execution of the MOA which is necessary so that there can be a documentary tracing of this disbursement—P42 billion,” the senator told Lao.
Drilon specifically cited Section 7.3.3. of the IRR reads that: “In order to hasten project implementation, Procuring Entities which may not have the proficiency or capability to undertake a particular procurement, as determined by the HoPE (heads of procuring entities) concerned, may outsource the procurement tasks by requesting other GoP (Government of the Philippines) agencies to undertake such procurement for them, through the execution of a memorandum of an agreement containing specific arrangements, stipulations, and covenants, in accordance with government budgeting, accounting and auditing rules.”
The P42 billion procurement of supplies for the COVID-19 response without the required MOA and other supporting documents were among the deficiencies raised by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its 2020 report. In total, COA found deficiencies, caused by non-compliance with pertinent laws and regulations, on how the DOH managed its P67.32-billion fund to fight the pandemic.
The DOH, however, has maintained that the funds are accounted for and that it is working to address the concerns raised by the COA.
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