MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday reiterated that there was no fraudulent conduct in the government’s purchase of medical supplies in the most expeditious manner, as he cited the Commission on Audit’s clarification on flagging the Department of Health.
During a hearing by the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, COA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo said that there was no incident of overpricing, but instead the flagging was due to inventory management through the transfer of funds, as it did not have a memorandum of agreement and supporting document such as the liquidation of pending procurement.
DOH transferred PHP42.4 billion worth of funds to PS-DBM for the procurement of COVID-19 supplies. Initially looking into the figures of the purchases, the opposition called out the transaction as an overpriced procurement.
Secretary Andanar said that this is just another game of the critics to undermine the efforts of the administration.
“Ang mga kririko natin talagang inuupakan tayo para na lang eh kahit papaano mawala tayo sa timing, mawala tayo sa vision natin. Kumbaga sinisira yung ating momentum [Our critics are really persistent in attacking us just so we lose our track, our timing, and our vision. They are sabotaging our momentum],” he said.
He noted that the transaction was compliant with existing laws such as Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, Government Procurement Policy Board issuances (GPPB), and RA 11469 of Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
“There was no overpriced procurement because during the onset of the pandemic the prices of the PPEs such as facemask have risen following the law of supply and demand,” Secretary Andanar said.
“Time was of the essence at kung hindi natin ginawa itong procurement ng medical supplies para sa ating mga medical frontliners, ay talagang magsu-suffer sila [Time was of the essence and had we not done this procurement of medical supplies for our medical frontliners, we know inevitably that they would suffer],” he added.
The PCOO chief noted that this malicious scheme of critics is no different from the accusation of fake news thrown against the legacy campaign of the PCOO.
“The government is ready to answer allegations by the critics. When they say that the Duterte Legacy is fake news, all they need to do is check on those bridges and roads that were completed, talk to students who are enjoying free tertiary education, or talk to those former rebels we have assisted,” he said.
“The critics should be able to see that these are not just pulled out of thin air. These have empirical evidence,” he added.