SENATORS Grace Poe and Franklin Drilon are seeking an inquiry on the utilization of the Department of Health’s (DOH) P67.32 billion COVID-19 fund, which the Commission on Audit (COA) earlier found to have deficiencies.
“These funds were provided to strengthen the agency’s health resources in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the implementation deficiencies denied our countrymen their right to health at a time when it is most needed,” Poe said in her resolution.
“Instead of being utilized to support and boost the country’s pandemic response, the funds either remained idle or were not properly and immediately used for their purpose,” she stressed.
Poe said DOH’s deficiencies prove to be counter-beneficial to the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the disease at a crucial time.
“Instead of being utilized to support and boost the country’s pandemic response, the funds remained idle or were not properly and immediately used where they should go,” Poe said.
“Inefficiencies in the midst of a health crisis make our people bear the brunt,” she stressed.
Drilon, for his part said the Senate should investigate the DOH’s handling of COVID-19 funds.
“The deluge of deficiencies that the Commission of Audit findings uncovered are alarming and disturbing,” Drilon said.
“It is imperative that we examine closely the DOH’s use of billions of pesos in COVID-19 response funds given the findings of the COA and the corruption allegations that hounded the agency’s procurement of various COVID-19 equipment and supplies,” Drilon said.
“We heard of corruption allegations involving the purchase of PPEs and test kits and these corruption allegations have remained unanswered and unsolved,” he added.
Citing the COA report, Drilon said the Senate should particularly look into the P3.97 billion worth of contracts and projects with procedural deficiencies in the procurement process and lacking documentation.