Dating opisyal ng DBM, iginiit na hindi overpriced ang biniling medical supplies

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2021   •   250

MANILA – Iginiit ng isang dating opisyal ng Department of Budget and Management (DBM) na hindi overpriced ang binili nilang medical supplies para sa Department of Health (DOH).

Ayon kay dating Budget Undersecretary Lloyd Christopher Lao, pinakamura na ang presyo ng binili nilang medical supplies gaya ng face mask at face shield batay sa isinagawa nilang bidding noong nagsisimula pa lamang ang pandemya.

“Actually when you look at it mahal iyang P27. Yes mahal iyan, pero during that time that was one of the cheapest, because face masks during that time was sold around P30 to P40. Even DTI increased their retail price which was at P28 during that time,” ani Lao.

“It was the first time that people knew about face shield, it was my first time to know about face shield. It was being sold at P250, P300, P400 di ba ang mahal? When we bidded it, most of the bidders bidded at around P400 and P300. But there’s one company who bidded that at P120, so that’s actually the cheapest during that time,” dagdag pa niya.

Lumutang si Lao upang magpaliwanag matapos siyang madawit sa pagbili ng halos P1 bilyong halaga ng umano’y overpriced na face mask at face shield batay sa audit report ng Commission on Audit (COA).

Sa pagdinig ng Senado noong Huwebes, mismong si Acting DBM Secretary Tina Canda ang nagsabing napuna rin nila noon ang presyo ng biniling medical supplies para sa DOH.

“If I recall, we actually questioned, the executive committee asked questions whether the amounts for the face shields, face masks and other PPEs would be defensible, because some people from the private sector were saying that it’s expensive,” ani Canda.

“’Yun yung tinanong namin kay Usec. Lao. And he said at that point that because there were limited items in the local market, the amounts that he presented is defensible,” dagdag pa niya.

Sinabi rin ni Lao na ang Procurement Service (PS) ng DBM ang nag-asikaso sa mga papeles sa pagbili ng face mask, face shield at ibang medical supplies upang mapabilis ang proseso.

“Noong kasagasagan ng pandemya, everybody was scampering […] During those times, it was very hard for people to travel, to submit documents, so iyon yung complication,” ang pahayag ni Lao.

Hindi rin aniya kailangan ng memorandum of agreement para sa nasabing procurement dahil ang mga ito ay “for common use” lalo na ngayong may pandemya.

May legal na basehan rin umano kung bakit hawak ng DBM ang P45 bilyong pondo mula sa DOH.

“Hindi po nilipat sa DBM ang pera. The money was sourced out from DBM and transferred to DOH. However, [the] DOH transferred it to PS-DBM, the procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management.

Paliwanag ni Lao, ang PS-DBM ay isang ahensiya ng gobyerno na ang tanging tungkulin ay bumili lamang ng mga kinakailangang gamit dahil marami sa mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan ang walang regular na procurement process.

“PS-DBM is a specialized agency of the government. Its main purpose is to procure and specialize under the said concept because most agencies do not have a regular procurement process,” ani Lao.

“In order to not dilute manpower and resources and time of these agencies, a different agency is focused and performs function for them. Iyon iyong PS-DBM,” dagdag pa niya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

PH posts 890 new COVID-19 cases; active infections down to 17K

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Wednesday recorded 890 new COVID-19 infections, data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed.

In its bulletin, the DOH said the latest figure brought the country’s total of recorded cases to 2,828,660.

Of the total caseload, 17,864 were active infections – 53.4% of which are mild, 21.39% are moderate, 4.8% are asymptomatic, 14.4% are severe, and 6.0% are in critical condition.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,763,114 after 1,710 more patients recuperated from the viral disease.

The death toll climbed to 47,682 with 200 new fatalities.

The country’s positivity rate was at 2.5%, based on data gathered on November 22 from 32,254 tested individuals.

Two laboratories were not operational on November 22 while three others were not able to submit their data on time, the DOH said. The five labs contribute on average 1.5% of positive cases and 1.8% of samples tested.

Data from the DOH also indicated that 31% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients nationwide are in use while 29% are utilized in Metro Manila.

Isolation beds nationwide are 28% occupied while 25% are in use in Metro Manila.

Hindi lahat ng A3 sector kasama sa tatanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine booster dose – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Nilinaw ng Department of Health (DOH) ngayong Lunes na hindi pa lahat ng persons with co-morbidities (A3 sector) ang maaaring mabigyan ng COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

Ginawa ng DOH ang paglilinaw sa pagsisimula ng rollout ng booster dose para sa senior citizens (A2) at A3 groups.

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ng DOH na ang makakasama lang sa booster dosing sa ngayon ay ang mga persons with co-morbidities na nasa immunocompromised state.

Ibig sabihin, ito ay ang mga nasa immunodeficiency state, people living with HIV, may active cancer o malignancy, transplant patients at mga pasyenteng sumasailalim sa immunosuppressive treatments.

Paliwanag ng DOH, ito pa lamang ang maaaring makatanggap sa ngayon ng vaccine boosters dahil sila ang higit na nangangailangan ng dagdag-proteksyon laban sa COVID-19.

May posibilidad ring bumaba na ang bisa ng bakuna na natanggap nila ilang buwan na ang nakalilipas.

Ayon sa DOH, iaanunsiyo ng National Vaccine Operations Center kung kailan maaaring makatanggap ng karagdagang vaccine shots ang natitirang populasyon ng A3 sector.

Pinapayuhan ng ahensiya ang mga eligible nang tumanggap ng third at booster shots na makipag-ugnayan sa nakakasakop na local government units para sa schedule ng pagpapabakuna.

Paalala rin ng DOH na dalhin ang kanilang ang vaccination card bilang katunayan na sila ay fully vaccinated na at handang tumanggap ng kanilang third dose. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

LIST: Conditions of immunocompromised persons eligible for COVID-19 booster shots

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday released a list of conditions for immunocompromised individuals that will qualify them for an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Immunocompromised persons with the following conditions are eligible for a booster shot:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • HIV
  • Cancer/Malignancy
  • Transplant patients
  • Undergoing steroid treatment
  • Patients with poor prognosis/ bed-ridden patients

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH met with experts on COVID-19 vaccine to discuss and prepare the guidelines for the administration of booster shots for immunocompromised individuals (A3) and senior citizens (A2).

“Gagawin lang po namin ang guidelines and we will be announcing through our National Vaccine Operations Cluster kung kailan po maguumpisa ang pagbabakuna ng booster or 3rd doses para sa ating mga nakakatanda or A2 and those individuals with immunocompromised states,” Vergeire said.

The Philippine government started administering booster shots for fully vaccinated healthcare workers this week.

“There were already 2,488 booster doses administered last Nov. 17 among our healthcare workers. Meron ho tayong kaunti na nagkaroon ng reaction, it’s about 2 percent of all of these,” she said.

“Lahat po ay na-manage accordingly and they were all sent home na they were well. Wala tayong serious na adverse events na naitala para dito sa mga naka-received na ng booster doses,” she added.

Vergeire said that most of the adverse events reported were mild such as headache, elevated blood pressure, fever, and pain on the injection site.

She stressed that healthcare workers are not required to get an additional vaccine dose.

Vergeire also reminded the public that the booster dosing is not yet recommended for the general public, adding that its implementation to other priority groups will be done in phases.

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