Gordon: COA report on PCMC Dengvaxia purchase bolsters blue ribbon’s findings
The Commission on Audit’s (COA) 2017 Audit Report of the Dengvaxia purchase by the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) has supported the findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee : that the purchase of the vaccines violated government procurement rules, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the committee said.
Gordon on Thursday said the audit report “reinforces the findings and conclusions” made by the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Dengvaxia procurement.
“In 2016, nag-privilege speech ako on the Dengvaxia procurement because sa tingin ko minadali ang procurement, hindi pinag-aralang mabuti kaya nalagay sa alanganin ang halos isang milyong batang Pilipino. And now this COA audit report is saying that the said procurement was irregular,” Gordon said in a statement.
“It supported our own report,” he added.
According to the COA report, the PCMC’s procurement of the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccines “was not in accordance with the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order No.49, the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Government Procurement Reform Act, and the Memorandum of Agreement by and between the Department of Health (DOH) and PCMC”.
The COA report added that the PCMC also committed procedural lapses when it procured P3 billion worth of the Dengvaxia vaccines
The Blue Ribbon Committee report found former President Benigno Aquino III, former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin, former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad, and other PCMC and DOH officials liable for criminal charges.
The previous administration purchased Dengvaxia from Sanofi Pasteur for its national dengue prevention program. Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of the vaccines, however later recalled the vaccines over safety issues.
“While I don’t mean any ill to anyone, the purpose of the investigation was to find out the truth behind the program which placed the health of more than 830,000 children at risk. We want to seek justice for these children and protect them,” Gordon said.
The senator claimed that the investigation deviates from politics, as it is aimed at providing better public healthcare services for Filipinos.
“What we are doing here is not political. It is precisely to prevent the DOH, which is the sentinel of public health, from being co-opted again and used for political ends. Hindi natin gustong magdiin pero walang kaduda-duda na may kasalanan ang mga taong gumawa niyan dahil nanakit sila ng mga bata ng walang pakundangan,” Gordon said. /muf
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.