Senate gets a whiff of Pharmally's 'unusual' donation of P33M worth of goods to gov't, agencies | Inquirer News
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Senate gets a whiff of Pharmally’s ‘unusual’ donation of P33M worth of goods to gov’t, agencies

/ 03:47 PM September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Some senators on Friday questioned the “unusual” P33 million worth of donations made by Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. to several government institutions in 2020.

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Senators learned of Pharmally’s donation during the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon committee’s investigation into the government’s pandemic purchases.

“Is that unusual that 79 percent of your operations goes to a donation?” Senator Francis Pangilinan asked certified public accountant Raymond Abrea, who looked into the financial statement of Pharmally.

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In response to Pangilinan’s question, Abrea said salaries and rent expenses usually make up most of the operating costs of a corporation.

“Normally nasa salaries po at rent expenses, yun ang malaking portion po ng [that’s what make up a large portion of the] operating expenses,” Abrea told senators.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked Pharmally director Linconn Ong about the details of these donations and if the firm paid its donor’s tax.

Ong said he is not privy to specific details of the company’s accounting records.

“Ito ay malaking halaga, P33 million… Kanino niyo dinonate? ‘Di po ba pinaguusapan sa board ito bago ito i-donate or pinaguusapan man lang ng mga officers kung saan ido-donate ito?” Drilon stressed.

(This is a large sum of money, P33 million…Where did you make the donation? Is this not being discussed in the board or among officers before such donations are made?)

Drilon then turned to Illuminada Sebial, Pharmally’s external auditor, to provide details on the company’s P33 million worth of donations.

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According to Sebial, a summary provided to her by the company showed that the donated goods went to several government facilities as well as some local government units.

Based on Pharmally records, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Taguig City Hall, BRP Medical Center, San Juan City Hall, Quezon City Hall, Quezon City Council, Provincial Government of Cavite and Navotas City Hall were the recipients of the donations.

Sebial, however, did not specify what kind of goods were donated.

The Senate blue ribbon committee is currently investigating the P8.6-billion worth government deals awarded by the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service to Pharmally last year despite the firm being only several months old with just P625,000 in paid-up capital.

Earlier, it was disclosed that Pharmally had borrowed money from former presidential adviser Michael Yang to help them fulfill some of the government’s orders last year.

This, senators said, was an indication that Pharmally had no financial capacity to be given these procurement contracts.

Yang, for his part, maintained he has no ties with Pharmally and only introduced the company to Chinese suppliers.

Pharmally chairman and president Huang Tzu Yen, however, has previously denied that they were favored in any way in the government’s procurement of medical supplies in 2020, saying the firm has been “unfairly prejudged.”

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TAGS: donation, pandemic funds, Pharmally, Senate
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