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Duque Says DOH Did Not Pick Overpriced Face Shield Supplier

Health chief says Senate report proved this.
by Erwin Colcol
2 hours ago
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Health Sec. Francisco Duque said Sunday that if the preliminary findings of a Senate investigation were to go by, his department did not select the supplier of allegedly overpriced face shields and other COVID-19 protective gear.

Duque said the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service was in charge of purchasing as as many of the Department of Health's staff were in isolation when the deals were made. 

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, led by Sen. Richard Gordon, recommended graft charges against several officials Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. which bagged more than P8 billion in supply contracts, and the government, excluding Duque.

"Doon mapapatunayan na wala naman kaming kinalaman doon sa pagpili kung sino yung mga supplier na dapat pagkunan ng ating life saving personal protective equipment," Duque told DZBB.

"Kung hindi kami hihingi ng tulong, hindi rin kami makakakuha ng PPEs, edi maraming mamamatay na healthcare workers, maraming magkakasakit lalo," he said, referring to the procurement assistance from the DBM.

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ALSO READ: What is a Sad Boi and is DOH Secretary Duque One?

The Senate inquiry found that unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference were accorded to Pharmally when it was awarded the government contracts to provide COVID-19 supplies, Gordon said.

Gordon said former Budget Usec. Christopher Lao, who headed the agency's procurement service, gave contracts to Pharmally that were "manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government," he added.

The Senate blue ribbon panel will resume its probe on these COVID-19 supply deals on Thursday.


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