Lacson: Ex-Budget exec Lao asked CSC to reclassify personnel as ‘confidential employees’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Thursday said former head of the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) Christopher Lloyd Lao had asked that some personnel be reclassified as “confidential employees.”
Lacson said Lao wrote to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) about this a month after being appointed as DBM-PS executive director.
“The moment Christopher Lao was appointed as OIC and Executive Director of PS DBM, this was January 2. On February 4, he wrote the Civil Service Commission requesting for a reclassification of employees as confidential employees. Fortunately, dineny ito ng CSC,” Lacson said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Lacson said he was supposed to present this during the previous Senate hearing on the procurement of allegedly “overpriced” medical items for the COVID-19 response, but was not able to due to the lack of time.
“Ang question doon, bakit kailangan ang confidential employees sa isang ahensya ng gobyerno na nagproprocure? Diba doon pa lang, kitang kita mo na na merong, sabi nga ni Senator [Franklin] Drilon, premeditated plunder,” Lacson said.
(The question is, why do you need confidential employees in a government agency that procures? From that alone, you can see, as said by Senator Drilon, there’s premeditated plunder.)
It was the DBM-PS then headed by Lao that purchased allegedly overpriced personal protective equipment sets, face masks, and face shields from Pharmally, the company being questioned for bagging billions worth of government contracts during the onset of the pandemic.
Lacson also pointed out how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supposedly “loosened requirements” only to, later on, recall it after Pharmally already delivered supply to the country.
“By March or May pati yung FDA naglabas ng circular, niloloosen yung requirements. Instead of requiring mag-submit ng certificate of notification, certificate of application, and so forth, naging license to operate na lang,” Lacson said.
(By March or May, even the FDA released a circular that loosened requirements. Instead of requiring the submission of certificates of notification, application, and so forth, they only required the license to operate.)
“Over time after makapag-deliver na ang Pharmally hinigpitan na naman. Kailangan uit yung certificate of product registration, etc.,” he added.
(Over time, after Pharmally already delivered supplies, they tightened rules again. Certificate of product registration, etc. are needed again.)
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