Lacson on pricey shields: Why so high a demand if only PH mandates its use?
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday questioned the rationale behind the “overpriced” face shields procured by the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) for the Department of Health (DOH) in 2020.
“Yung (The) face shields for example…how could you justify high demand when the Philippines is the only country in the world that mandates the use of face shields among its citizens?” Lacson asked former DBM-PS head Christopher Lloyd Lao during a Senate blue ribbon committee hearing.
“And we’re talking of international market, hindi ba (aren’t we)? Kasi imported yung mga face shields, e (These were imported). So how could you attribute to high demand yung [price ng] face shields (the price of)?” he added.
During a previous hearing, senators questioned the DOH’s purchase of masks and shields at P27.72 each and P120 each through the DBM-PS.
But Lao, in a public briefing last week, said that the shields and face masks flagged as “overpriced” were the most affordable available at the time.
While Lacson understood that demand was high for face masks, such was not the case for face shields.
“There’s no such thing as high demand because sabi ko nga, tayo lang ang gumagamit ng face shields (I mean, we only wear face shields),” the senator said.
According to Lao, when the DBM-PS solicited bids for face shields, no manufacturers of such items existed in the Philippines.
“There was no manufacturer in the Philippines and there was no history that face shields were made in the Philippines except the ones that were being procured by the DOH I think 2019 and [backward] until 2015., I think they have a history of buying,” he added.
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