Marcos flags DBM-PS’s ‘strange’ choice of firms for medical supplies
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday flagged what she claimed was a “strange” choice of firms tapped by the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) to supply medical items, one of which includes a construction company.
“There are all sorts of strange suppliers, clearly, the DBM-PS accredited people that we’ve never heard of before,” Marcos said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
“Sabi nga sa Alice in Wonderland, this is curiouser and curiouser,” she added.
Marcos mentioned Bowman Technologies, Inc., Nikka Trading, Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.— four firms that were awarded contracts for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) sets and other medical items, according to the DBM-PS website.
“Bakit yung building at construction na kumpanya, biglang nagiging medical equipment supplier? Nakakapagtaka talaga, a really strange list,” Marcos went on, referring to the Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation.
A look at the Food and Drug Administration website showed that Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation had a license to operate as a medical devices manufacturer.
Asked how much the procurement contract awarded to these companies were worth, Marcos said it was a “huge amount.”
Marcos raised this as the Senate blue ribbon committee looked into the Department of Health’s (DOH) handling of its pandemic funds earlier flagged by state auditors.
Among them is the DOH’s transfer of P42 billion to the DBM-PS for the procurement of COVID-related items without the required memorandum of agreement (MOA) and other supporting documents.
During Wednesday’s hearing, former DBM-PS head Lloyd Christopher Lao said there was no need for an MOA if the items being procured are considered common supplies.