Pharmally exec admits getting face masks at P23 each from ‘Brother Tiger’ to supply gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — An official of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. has admitted getting face masks at P23 per piece from a local supplier known by the name “Brother Tiger”, to supply the government 500,000 pieces of face mask for its same-day delivery.
Pharmally director and supply chain head Linconn Ong was asked by Senator Richard Gordon at the Senate blue ribbon committee on Monday who supplied them the face masks, after a Pharmally officer admitted that they did not have the stock to provide the government’s request.
Ong initially declined to give the name of the firm from which they got the face masks, but he was compelled to release it, saying that he called up a friend from a certain Tigerphil Marketing to help them.
“Hindi kita tinatanong do’n eh, ang tinatanong ko sino ang supplier mo, sino ‘yang supplier mo, biglang may dumating ng supplier, nakakuha kayo ng request for quotation, sabi ng tao mo meron kami sa bodega, pina-deliver mo kaagad on the same day, magikero […] magpaliwanag ka,” Gordon told Ong.
(I was not asking you about that, what I am asking is who is your supplier, because a supplier suddenly appeared after you got a request for quotation, your officer said you have a warehouse, you had it delivered on the same day as if you are a magician. Explain yourself.)
“Mr. Chairman ang pangalan po ng supplier, Tigerphil Marketing po […] matagal ko na pong kaibigan ‘yong may-ari ng Tigerphil,” Ong replied.
(Mr. Chairman, the name of the supplier is Tigerphil Marketing. The owner of Tigerphil has been a longtime friend.)
But Gordon was not satisfied with the answer, asking who is the ‘friend’ behind Tigerphil that assisted them. Ong relented, then eventually said that it was a certain “Brother Tiger”.
“Hindi ko tinatanong kung matagal na kayong magkaibigan, bakit ba pinapasyal mo kami palagi, So Tigerphil, anong pangalan ng kausap mo, ‘yong kaibigan mo na matagal na?” Gordon said.
(I am not asking if you are longtime friends, why do you keep beating around the bush. So Tigerphil, what is the name of the one you talked to, your longtime friend?)
“Ang tawag ko po do’n sa pangalan ng supplier si Brother Tiger, meron po siyang Chinese name, I have to confirm it,” Ong noted.
(The supplier, we call him by the name of Brother Tiger, he has a Chinese name but I have to confirm it.)
Ong also did not immediately reply to queries on how much they bought the face masks from Tigerphil, noting that it is a trade secret. However, senators insisted that he needs to divulge the amount as the blue ribbon committee is investigating possible corruption.
According to Senator Ralph Recto, Gordon’s questions regarding the face mask price is important because a local supplier provided at a price of P13 per piece, while Pharmally supplied at P27 per piece.
“Material ‘yong tanong ng ating chairman kung magkano ang binayaran mo sa supplier because in the same month, may local na kumpanya na nagsupply at P13. Ito ang supply ninyo ang presyo P27, ang local supplier P13.50. Negosyo naman to sabi nga ni Senator Bato, pwede mo bang sagutin kung magkano nga ang binayaran niyo do’n sa Tiger,” Recto said.
(The question of our chairperson about how much you paid the supplier is material to the concerns because in the same month, there was a local company who supplied at P13. You supplied masks at P27 per piece. This is a business as Senator Dela Rosa said, can you now say how much you paid to Tiger?)
“Ang naalala ko po nasa mga P23 po (What I remember is around P23),” Ong replied.
The senators’ questions to Ong came after Pharmally official Krizle Mago told senators that the firm received an email from the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (PS-DBM) on March 25, 2020 about the request for quotation on the purchase of face masks.
Mago said she responded to the email on March 26, 2020, but they delivered on March 25.
The blue ribbon committee is investigating the issue of overpriced pandemic supplies, after COA flagged several items in DOH’s COVID-19 funds.
This includes the P42 billion given to the PS-DBM — which was then used to purchase overpriced face masks and face shields, along with PPE sets. A huge chunk of the alleged overpriced goods, said to be contracts with a total of P8.7 billion, went to Pharmally.
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