Senator Risa Hontiveros insisted Friday that the made in China personal protective equipment (PPEs) the government purchased in the previous months were overpriced.
Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) earlier claimed the government saved P800 million when it purchased made in China PPEs in April and May.
“The 1 billion-peso loss is even a conservative estimate,” the senator said in a statement.
Citing DBM’s Quarter 2 report from April and May, Hontiveros said, “the Department of Health (DOH) has ordered another 5.1 million PPE sets amounting to around P10.2 billion. The procurement of which is ongoing.”
“This means the DBM and DOH were procuring PPE sets for P2,000 each. However, also in May, the Palace reported that during their Inter-Agency Task Force meeting, the government procured PPE sets worth P1,100 each,” she said.
“There’s a huge discrepancy there. Where is the extra P900 going? That’s around P4 billion worth of PPE sets that is unaccounted for. Mukhang may nagsasayang ng pera ng mamamayan. Mukhang may kumikita talaga,” she added.
Hontiveros also questioned why the government allegedly continues to buy imported PPEs and not from local manufacturers. Confederation of Philippine Manufacturers of PPE already said they could produce three million medical-grade coveralls and isolation gowns monthly.
“Kayang kaya ng Pilipino tumugon sa pangangailangan ng kapwa Pilipino. DBM and DOH should immediately engage with and prioritize our local manufacturers. Kung magagawa ito, mas maraming trabaho din ang mapupunta sa Pilipino,” she said.
Hontiveros insists made in China PPEs overpriced
Malacañang, meanwhile, urged Hontiveros to file charges if she could prove that the made in China PPEs were overpriced.
“Bukas po ang Ombudsman, bukas po ang DOJ [Department of Justice]. Kung mayroon po kayong ebidensiya, magdemanda po kayo,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
“Iyong mga panahon na iyon nagsisimula pa lang po iyong mga lokal na kumpanya na mag-produce ng PPE na sa pamamagitan ng pag-angkat ng mga imported materials nga po at dito ginagawa,” Roque added.
“So iyong mga panahon na iyon wala naman tayong choice kung hindi bumili rin ng mga imported PPE.”