MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday said it will look into government auditors’ observations on the delay in the procurement of medicines for persons deprived of liberty in facilities run by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
“We will certainly look into this. In a congested prison where the risk of getting sick is very high, medicine is next only to food in terms of essentiality. Any delay in terms of procurement and delivery should immediately be addressed,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters.
In its report, the Commission of Audit (COA) said seven procurement contracts for PHP65.53 million worth of medicines and drugs were awarded beyond the maximum 90-day period last year.
There were also 14 projects totaling PHP56,561,041 with winning proponent/bidder but no Notice to Proceed (NTP) had been issued even after the lapse of 90 days.
COA urged BuCor to comply with the procurement timelines stated under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The BuCor earlier said that belated procurement activities may have been triggered by the Ombudsman’s suspension of the chairman of its Bids and Awards Committee. (PNA)