DOH defends procured PPE, says it’s ‘cheaper’ compared to pre-pandemic prices
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said its procured personal protective equipment (PPE) sets from the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) are cheaper and at par with World Health Organization standards.
According to DOH, the PPE sets were also procured at a much lower cost compared to their pre-COVID-19 prices.
The DOH said it was able to procure the PPE sets from PS-DBM at a price ranging from P1,700 to less than P2,000. The sets were also cheaper than the DOH’s allocated budget of P2,000 per unit as contained in its Purchase Request (PR) to the PS-DBM.
In addition, the DOH also said that reference to any brand name is not allowed “as a general rule in procurement,”
“The technical specifications set during the procurement of the PPE sets were based on WHO Standards,” the DOH said in a statement.
“Additionally, the PPE sets delivered were inspected, verified, and found to be in order and conformity with the technical specifications set. The DOH did not receive any complaints from healthcare workers on the quality of the PPE sets procured,” it added.
Furthermore, the health department defended that it was able to immediately provide a huge number of PPE sets to healthcare workers during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that it will remain accountable and transparent to the public regarding the use of funds.
The PPE sets include nine components such as coverall suits, gloves, N95 mask, head cover, shoe cover, surgical mask, surgical gown, apron, and face shield.
Meanwhile, Congress is currently investigating the Duterte administration’s procurement of allegedly overpriced PPEs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Last year, the government awarded a whopping P8.7 billion worth of contracts to a little-known trading company with fictitious addresses for the supply of face masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) sets, and COVID-19 test kits.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.