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A Commission on Audit report bared that the Department of Health has been keeping over P296 million worth of medicines in its warehouses that are nearing its expiry.

The data was based on the commission's 2018 annual audit report.

With P18.5 billion as the grand total of the budget allotted, the medicines were part of the drugs and pharmaceuticals purchased by the health department covering 2015 to 2018.

The powerful commission claimed that even though the department's excessive stocking of such items has been observed over the past years, no action has been put into place to address the issue and avoid recurrence.

COA said the drugs and medicines procured by health department's Central Office “are still on hand at DOH Warehouses as of December 31, 2018.”

It said out of P12,991.775 billion or 70.23 percent of the total budget obtained in 2018, P295.767 million or 2 percent are close to their expiration dates already as of January 31, 2019.

Auditors said the Duque-led department has kept “overstocked, slow moving, and idle” inventory items purchased by DOH-Center of Health Developments (CHDs) and hospitals amounting to P52,049 million.

Since it covered 2015, records showed the participation of the previous health secretary prior Sec. Francisco Duque, the now Iloilo  Rep. Janette Garin.

The name of the former Secretary Paulyn Ubial whose appointment was not officialized by the Commission on Appointments was also seen in the report as some of the procurement was done during her time.

Given such, another batch of medicines was still purchased under the current health secretary.

COA regrets the overstocking done which is clearly against Section 2 of Presidential Decree 1445 that states that the government resources “shall be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with law and regulations, and safeguarded against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition, with a view to ensuring efficiency, economy, and effectiveness in the operation of the government.”

Further, it mentioned the policy for medicines received through donation.

“The argument that short-dated products can be donated in the case of acute emergencies because they will be used rapidly, is incorrect. In emergency situations, the systems for reception, storage and distribution of drugs are very often disrupted and overloaded, and many donated drugs tend to accumulate,” the World Health Organization guideline reads.

The auditing agency likewise cited Section 25 of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2018 (RA No. 10964) stating: “The inventory of supplies, materials, and equipment spare parts to be procured shall not exceed the agency’s two-month requirement.”

It also mentioned Section 7 of the 2016 revised implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) that says: “All procurement shall be within the approved budget of the Procuring Entity and should be meticulously and judiciously planned by the Procuring Entity. Consistent with government fiscal discipline measures, only those considered crucial to the efficient discharge of governmental functions shall be included in the Annual Procurement Plan (APP).”

Source: Manila Bulletin

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Nagtapon ng pera? P296M medicines at DOH warehouses, close to expiration Nagtapon ng pera? P296M medicines at DOH warehouses, close to expiration Reviewed by The News Feeder on 04 August Rating: 5

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