MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) said it is investigating reports on the suspected tampering of manufacturing dates of face shields procured from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.
Upon the directive of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the department is conducting a comprehensive review of procurement transactions, including the inspection of incoming or currently housed stocks of PPE procured from Pharmally, either directly or indirectly, through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), the DOH said in a news release issued Friday.
Pharmally previously won the bid 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 in March 2021.
The DOH said Pharmally has delivered more than 500,000 pieces of face shields.
However, the department has not yet paid Pharmally as it has 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 health care workers, these are duly inspected. Likewise, health facilities have to inspect, count, and verify the items they received from the DOH,” said lawyer Charade Mercado-Grande, undersecretary of the Health Regulation Team.
The DOH added that it would further implement stringent measures of inspection during delivery to ensure procured supplies are neither damaged nor have exceeded their shelf life.
The department 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 health care workers,” Grande said. (PNA)