Drilon sees attempt to cover-up anomalies in DOH transfer of P42 B to DBM-PS

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said there may be an attempt to “cover up anomalies” in the Department of Health’s (DOH) transfer of P42 billion to the Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS).

In a Teleradyo interview on Monday, Drilon questioned the move of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to authorize the transfer of funds to the DBM-PS to procure medical supplies on the DOH’s behalf.


“Sinabi niya (Duque) na dahilan sa hindi kaya ng bureaucracy sa DOH. Sa akin po, yun ay pagtatakip po ng anomalya ‘yan,” the senator said.

(He said he did this because the bureaucracy in the DOH can’t handle the procurement of these supplies. For me, that’s an attempt to cover up the anomalies.)


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“Marami pong bids and awards committee na nakakalat sa buong DOH at iyan po ay pinamumunuan ng mga undersecretaries at assistant secretaries at ‘yan po ang may expertise dito sa face masks, shields, dun po sa mga test kits dahil ‘yan ay mga trabaho po ng mga tauhan ng DOH,” he added.

(There are bids and awards committee within the DOH which is headed by undersecretaries and assistance secretaries who have the expertise on face masks, shields and test kits because that is the job of DOH officials.)

Further, he said that since face masks, shields and test kits are medical supplies, their procurement should not have been passed on to the DBM-PS.

“These are medical equipment and medical supplies, hindi po ballpen ito ay kaya po nagulat kami kung bakit pa inilipat ang “42 billion ni Sec. Duque,” Drilon said.

(These are medical equipment and medical supplies, these are not like ballpens, that’s why we were shocked that Sec. Duque transferred P42 billion.)

In an earlier House of Representatives hearing, Duque said that the DOH did try to procure on their own but said there were no available bidders at the time due to limited supply.

Still, Drilon believes that anomalies in the procurement of what senators said were

“overpriced” medical supplies

began with the DOH’s transfer of billions of funds to the DBM-PS.


“Diyan po nagumpisa ang anomalya sa aking tingin. Yung paglipat ng P42 billion at ginawang pambili ng mga equipment na ang sinabi rin ng PS-DBM na ito po’y common-used supplies…’Di tayo doktor pero siguro magkaiba naman yung ballpen at saka face masks saka face shields saka yung test kits,” he said.

(That’s where I think the anomalies started. The transfer of the P42 billion which was used to buy these equipment and the PS-DBM said these were common-used supplies. I’m not a doctor but I think that a ballpen is different from a face mask, shield or test kits.)

“Talaga pong may pinagtatakpan at sabi ko nga e this is a planned plunder,

premeditated plunder,

” he added.

(There’s really a cover-up and as I’ve said earlier this is a planned plunder, premeditated plunder.)

The DOH’s transfer of funds was among the issues tackled in the Senate blue ribbon’s probe into the agency’s handling of pandemic funds worth over P67 billion.

The blue ribbon panel will resume its investigation on Sept. 7.