DOH to look into PPE procurement in Aquino administration
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday it will look into the procurement of “costlier” personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Aquino administration.
During the DOH budget hearing at the House committee on appropriations, Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin urged Duque to investigate the allegation of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque that the PPEs bought by the previous administration were costlier than the ones purchased by the Duterte government during the pandemic.
“I am not in the DOH anymore, but can Secretary Duque quickly initiate an investigation into this allegation and look into the following: proper po ba ang procurement process na nangyari (was the procurement done properly)? Sinu-sino po ba ang involved sa (Who are involved in the) process? Was this flagged by the Commission on Audit?” Garin said.
“Meron po bang (Was there) overpricing? Is the supplier a legitimate company or not? And lastly, are these PPEs, can you compare these apples to apples with the current PPEs that the PS-DBM [Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management] is procuring?” she added.
Duque, in response, said the DOH will follow Garin’s request.
“Yes, we will have this looked into, and the truth is necessary to resolve this issue so we will do that,” he said.
Roque earlier denied that the PPEs sourced by the government for use of health care workers, bought at P1,700 each at the height of the pandemic in 2020, were overpriced as alleged by some lawmakers. He noted that the PPEs procured by the Aquino administration were even costlier at P3,500 each in September 2015 and P3,800 in June 2016.
Garin, who served as Health Secretary from February 2017 to June 2016 during the Aquino administration, said she “cannot remember being involved in this procurement.”
In his press briefing on Thursday, Roque clarified he was not alleging that the PPEs procured by the previous government are overpriced. He said the PPEs procured by the Aquino administration were only costlier.
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