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

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2021   •   258

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 gov’t eyeing to administer 7 million COVID-19 jabs in second vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is aiming to administer seven million COVID-19 vaccine jabs for the second round of nationwide vaccination drive, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.

The second mass immunization campaign is scheduled from December 15 to 17.

“Ang tina-target natin dito, mga 7 million para second dose, para maabot yung ating pinupuntiryang 54 million by the end of the year na bigyan ng kumpletong bakuna,” Duque said in a televised public briefing.

This target is lower than the first vaccination drive conducted last November 29 to December 1 and later extended until December 3.

The government had hoped to inoculate 9 million people during the first three-day immunization campaign. More than 10 million were vaccinated in the extended drive.

The vaccination drive was launched in a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate to achieve population protection against COVID-19.

So far, more than 38 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated out of the 91.7 million doses administered since the immunization was rolled out in March.

The number of individuals who have received their first dose rose to 56.7 million.

The government is aiming to fully vaccinate at least 54 million by the end of the year.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed hope that the second vaccination drive will also be successful.

“We will have a second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan from December 15 to 17. I hope that we would have the same success. But this time lesser because parang naubos na natin ang Pilipino sa ‘yung what counts sa bakuna kaya medyo there’s a slowdown of the COVID-19,” he said.

He also expressed optimism that the Philippines will be able to overcome the pandemic amid increasing vaccination rate in the country.

Duterte offers DOH Secy post to OCTA fellow

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has offered OCTA Research fellow Nicanor Austriaco the top post in the Department of Health (DOH) to replace Secretary Francisco Duque III.

During his weekly Talk to the People that aired late Monday, Duterte asked Austriaco if he is open to being designated as the new health chief.

“I would be happy to appoint you as the Secretary of Health. If that is okay with you,” he said after Austriaco finished his presentation on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the public briefing.

Austriaco declined the offer.

“No po. Secretary Duque is doing a fine job po and he’s a Thomasian po,” he said.

Duterte pressed on with his offer, saying Duque has been asking to be replaced.

“He has shown — he vents a desire really to rest, you know, after all this ruckus against him,” the president said. “Sabi ko I’ve been forcing him to stay but he would be happy to give way to you, I’m sure.”

“Yes, Mr. President, to another Thomasian,” Duque chimed in.

Austriaco, a priest and a molecular biologist, is also part of the team developing the Philippines’ first vaccine against COVID-19.

 

Parties ngayong holiday season, gawin online o sa open areas – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Hinimok ng Department of Health (DOH) ang publiko na gawing ligtas ang pagdiriwang ng holiday season sa pamamagitan ng pagsasagawa ng party o pagtitipon online o kaya ay sa labas ng bahay.

Ayon sa DOH, mas mataas ang tiyansa ng hawaan ng virus kung magtitipon ang mga tao sa lugar na kulob at walang maayos na bentilasyon.

Kung may bisitang kamag-anak o mga kaibigan, mas makakabuting outdoor activities ang gawin.

Kung hindi naman kaya ang outdoor celebration ay maaari pa rin namang sa loob ng bahay basta’t nakabukas ang bintana, pintuan at bentilador upang maging maayos ang air flow o daloy ng hangin.

Payo rin ni Dr. Dominic Maddumba, ang OIC-Division chief ng DOH Campaign Strategy Management Division Health Promotion Bureau, dapat ring maglagay ng hand sanitizing station sa lugar kung saan gagawiun ang salu-salo.

“Ngayon pong kapaskuhan ay sulitin an po natin iyong malamig na simoy ng hangin at papasukin natin upang maproteksyonan din tayo at maiwasan ang pagkahawa sa COVID-19,” ani Maddumba.

“Kung naka-aircon, mas mainam na may hepa filters para sa dagdag na proteksyon para sa inyong kasama, kaibigan at kapamilya,” dagdag pa niya.

Paalalahan rin ang lahat ng dadalo na isuot ng maayos ang kanilang face mask at panatilihin ang pagkakaroon ng physical distancing.

Upang makaiwas naman sa posibilidad na mahawa ng COVID-19, sinabi ng DOH na mas mainam pa ring online na lang gawin ang selebrasyon habang may pandemya para na rin sa kaligtasan ng pamilya. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

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