DOH says no more transfer of COVID-19 funds to PS-DBM in 2022
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III vowed on Thursday that the Department of Health (DOH) will no longer transfer funds to the Procurement Service Department of the Budget and Management (PS-DBM) for the purchase of COVID-19 response items and supplies.
During a budget hearing at the House committee on appropriations, Cagayan De Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez pressed Duque if the DOH is committed to no longer transfer part of its P19.68 billion COVID-19 funds for 2022 to PS-DBM.
“Yes, your honor, we will do that,” Duque said in response.
“The situation has changed in the sense that we can now do the bids and awards, we have our own committee and we will be able to maximize this capacity. Although still limited because the work of our officials as members of the bids and awards committee is an added work,” he added.
The DOH transferred around P42 billion to the PS-DBM in 2020, with P2 billion leftover as potential savings but ended up being reverted to the national treasury. Lawmakers have observed that the PS-DBM had procured overpriced COVID-19 response supplies on behalf of the DOH.
The health department is proposing a total of P242.22 billion budget for 2022. Duque said the DOH originally proposed a P73.99 billion budget for COVID-19 response alone in 2022 but the DBM only approved P19.68 billion.
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