THE Department of Health trusted the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management in the COVID-19 supply procurement.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III yesterday issued the statement as he denied involvement in the controversial transactions with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
“Wala kaming kinalaman dahil nagbaba kami ng pondo sa kanila (PS-DBM),” he said.
Duque was asked to react to the non-inclusion of DOH officials among the individuals the Senate blue ribbon committee said should face charges in the Pharmally mess.
On Oct. 19, the Senate panel revealed its preliminary findings amid the ongoing hearings into the alleged overpricing of supplies procured by the government during the pandemic. It recommended that several complaints be filed against former PS-DBM head Christopher Lao, former Overall Deputy Ombudsman Warren Liong, and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang.
Duque also said they had no choice but to rely on PS-DBM for the procurement because DOH officials were under isolation due to COVID-19 infections last March 2020.
“Maraming sa aming naka-isolate so talagang ‘di namin magagawa ang pag-bidding… ‘Yung committee namin apat o lima. Samantala ang PS-DBM full time,” he said.
Duque further lamented that without PS-DBM’s help, health workers will suffer due to lack of medical supplies.
“Kung hindi kami hihingi ng tulong, ‘di kami makakakuha ng PPEs. E ‘di maraming mamamatay na HCW (healthcare worker). Mapaparalisa ang healthcare system. Mga hospital magsasara,” he said.
After the Senate released its partial findings, the Palace dismissed the allegation of a conspiracy between former administration officials and Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. to defraud the government. It added that the Senate hearing was “politically motivated.”
The Commission on Audit (COA) has already started the special audit on the controversial deals of PS-DBM with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo said the audit report may be released before the year ends.