DEPARTMENT of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday said that it is looking at reports of suspected tampering of manufacturing dates of face shields procured from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.
The probe was ordered as the DOH is conducting a comprehensive review of procurement transactions which includes inspection of incoming or currently housed stocks of PPEs procured from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, either directly or indirectly through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).
Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation previously won the bidding for the face shield contract with the DOH, a separate procurement from PS-DBM. The procurement of the face shields was done through a competitive bidding process wherein eight prospective bidders submitted their prices for the face shields last March 2021.
The DOH said that Pharmally has delivered over 500,000 pieces of face shields. However, the DOH has not yet paid Pharmally since it is yet to complete the deliveries of the procured face shields.
“We are fast-tracking our investigation on the face shields delivered to the DOH and if those are the ones being referred to in the Senate hearing. If the face shields are proven to be tampered with, we would definitely take necessary legal remedies. The DOH assures that prior to sending out any procured items for use by our healthcare workers, these are duly inspected. Likewise, health facilities have to inspect, count, and verify the items they received from the DOH,” said Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande, Undersecretary of the Health Regulation Team.
The DOH added that it will further implement stringent measures of inspection during delivery to ensure procured supplies are not damaged nor have exceeded their shelf life. It also underscored that it does not tolerate practices of tampering with any procured supplies.
“The DOH has decided to suspend acceptance and further deliveries of face shields from Pharmally, pending the conclusion of the investigations in the department. We are aware of the statements made by Pharmally employees about the tampering of the production date on the certificate. Out of prudence and caution, the DOH has decided to suspend the succeeding deliveries to protect the interest and safety of our healthcare workers,” said Atty. Mercado-Grande.