Press Release
August 12, 2021

Drilon seeks Senate investigation into DOH mismanagement of P67.32B COVID-19 funds

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon called for a Senate inquiry in aid of legislation into the poor handling by the Department of Health (DOH) of about P67.32 billion funds meant to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We should investigate the Department of Health'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.

"This is where unscrupulous individuals or syndicates in the government dip their sticky fingers. We must examine this especially given the corruption allegations that involved the purchase of various COVID-19 equipment and supplies," Drilon added.

"Who was involved in these purchases? Which agency made the procurement? Where are these people now? Are they still in the government?" he asked.

Drilon said Duque's ineptitude is sabotaging the government response to the pandemic.

"While we see a shortage of beds, PPEs, ventilators, oxygen tanks, the DOH incurred P24.64 billion in unobligated funds that could have augmented our medical resources and paid on time the risk allowance of our medical frontliners," Drilon said.

The Senate chief fiscalizer also criticized the DOH for around P2.83 billion idle, unfinished and delayed health facilities and P1.23 billion worth of equipment that were undelivered, unutilized and/or without calibration and preventive maintenance.

He also questioned why the DOH wasted P95.68 million worth of medicines, some of them could be already spoiled or nearly expired.

The COA, in its audit report, said that these deficiencies contributed to the challenges encountered and missed opportunities by the DOH during the time of state of calamity/national emergency, and casted doubts on the regularity of related transactions."

News Latest News Feed