Budget 2022 to ban the transfer of funds for non-common goods

MANILA – The 2022 national budget will include a provision prohibiting the transfer of funds to procurement agencies for items that are not common goods, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Monday.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is currently investigating the management of COVID-19 funds, including the transfer of some 42 billion pesos from the Ministry of Health to the Office of the Purchasing Department of the Ministry of Budget and Management allegedly for supplies medical devices, such as face masks and face shields.

“At my instigation, the Senate Finance Committee will include a provision in the 2022 budget that will essentially say that you can no longer use procurement agencies like PS-DBM and PITC (Philippine International Trading Corporation) for equipment that is no longer available. not in common use, ”Drilon told ANC Headstart.

“There is a basis and a validity to authorizing the purchase of common use equipment, but please the way it has been abused because of the personalities helping these agencies, they have been used as a means to wash away any responsibility or corruption that takes place in the purchase of these goods, ”he said.

The Senate hearing on COVID-19 funds was prompted by a report from the Audit Commission which pointed to “deficiencies” in the DOH’s handling of its allocated budget for 2021. Drilon had said the transfer of 42 billion pesos to the PS-DBM was intended to “mask its rate of non-engagement and inefficiency.”

During the legislative inquiry, senators also questioned the alleged overpricing of medical equipment and the awarding of billions of dollars in supply contracts to Pharmally, a company with less than a million pesos in. paid-up capital.

The panel had so far recommended the filing of various charges against several Pharmally officials, Chinese businessman and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang and former PS-DBM chief Christopher Lloyd Lao.

ANC, ANC Top, ANC Exclusives, Budget 2022, National Budget 2022, Pharmally, DOH, Department of Health, Franklin Drilon, Senate Finance Committee

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