Pharmally supplying ‘substandard’ face shields to gov’t, staff tells Senate
MANILA, Philippines — A man claiming to be a warehouse employee of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. testified in the Senate that “deformed, soiled and substandard” face shields meant for doctors and health care workers are allegedly being supplied by the firm to the government.
During Friday’s Senate blue ribbon committee, Senator Risa Hontiveros presented a video of the Pharmally employee, who she said made his statement under oath.
“Pinapagawa nila samin sa face shield is parang sobrang substandard po ng mga face shield na ginagawa namin, although kahit po yupi-yupi yung mga face shield, yupi-yupi na yung mga boxes, kahit may yupi na po sya, kahit po may mga dumi, may mga madumi, pinapa-repack pa rin po sa amin nina maam sa amin po yun,” the employee, who was recently hired by the company, said in the video.
(What they’re ordering us to do is even if the face shields are really substandard, although the boxes and the products themselves are already deformed, dirty, they will still make us repack it.)
“Yung face shield na nire-repack namin, after po ng finished goods, nilalagyan po namin sya ng sticker na Philippine Government Property. Nakalagay po doon, Department of Health, so idea po namin is sa DOH po. Pero sinabi din naman po sa amin nina Ma’am na order po sya ng DOH from Pharmally,” he added.
(The face shields we were repacking, after the finished goods, we will put stickers saying Philippine Government Property. It said the Department of Health, so our idea was they were to be sent to the DOH. But in the end they also told us that the face shields were ordered by the DOH from Pharmally.)
He also claimed that Pharmally instructed them to replace the certificates of face shields dated 2020 with new certificates dated 2021.
He alleged this practice was still running when he was hired last August until September this year.
Senators are investigating the government’s transactions with Pharmally, which was awarded over P8.6 billion worth of supply contracts for medical supplies in 2020 despite being only several months old and having just P625,000 in paid-up capital.
It was earlier 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.
In a House hearing Monday, Yang insisted that it was his friends, not him, who funded Pharmally in some of its contracts with the government.
Pharmally chairman and president Huang Tzu Yen has also 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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