By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Joel Villanueva challenged officials of Pharmally
Pharmaceutical Corp. to present proof it paid mandatory contributions
of its employees in 2020, contrary to regulatory reports it submitted
to government agencies.
At the resumption of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on
Friday, Villanueva confronted Pharmally chief executive Huang Tzu Yen
on whether the controversial supplier of personal protective equipment
to the government did pay mandated contributions such as SSS,
PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig of its seven full-time employees.
“I have documents here stating you have zero payments to
government-mandated contributions like SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-ibig. “We
want to know whether mandatory contributions such as SSS, Philhealth,
and Pag-ibig have been paid,” Villanueva said, requesting the
committee to subpoena these documents showing proof of payment by
Pharmally of government-mandated contributions.
“We have reason to believe that these mandatory government
contributions are not being paid,” continued Villanueva, chair of the
Senate labor committee. “Hindi nga nakakalikha ng trabaho, hindi pa
nagbabayad ng mandatory contributions.”
Villanueva likewise pointed out that the annual salaries it paid to
its full-time employees weren’t enough to pay executives such as a
general manager which usually oversees operations of a company.
He said companies with a smaller income, such as “mom-and-pop”
operations, hire more workers, and spend more on payroll.
“Yung may isawan at barbequehan sa kanto, na P50,000 siguro ang
kapital, makikita po natin na tatlong tao nagtutulungan. Itong
Pharmally, na ‘platinum’ supplier ang turing ng gobyerno, ay mukhang
one-man operation lang,” he said. “Mas marami pa yata ang trabahong
nalilikha ng isang kababayan natin na may T-shirt printing business sa
Villanueva said Pharmally’s payroll-to-sales ratio beats the record of
blue chips companies.
He said Pharamally’s lean personnel compensation proves that “it was a
middle man, who did not own a single sewing machine and did not buy a
single yard of cloth, but profited as a broker.”
He again rued the wasted opportunity to provide local jobs to domestic
PPE manufacturers when a “large contract financed by taxpayer’s money
was sent overseas.”
He said government agencies with purchasing budgets should also take
into consideration the makers and origins of the products they are
buying and factor them into their decision for as long as it complies
with the law. (ai/mtvn)