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)