Lacson sees ‘pattern of overpricing’ in purchase of COVID-19 equipment

first_imgMANILA – There was allegedly a pattern of overpricing in the Department of Health’s (DOH) procurement of medical equipment to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday, Sen. Panfilo Lacson slammed the DOH for supposedly taking advantage of the situation to satisfy their greed.“I think there should be a day of reckoning on all these because seizing an opportunity out of a crisis is a good thing when you do it for country. But to seize an opportunity for self-aggrandizement out of a crisis as big as the COVID-19 pandemic, I think that’s the height of callousness and greed,” Lacson said.“They could all come up with all sorts of reasons. But at the end of the day, we see a pattern of overpricing. If it’s only one item then probably it’s been overlooked, they can reason out a different supplier or manufacturer but it’s a pattern,” he added.Lacson also said that the swabbing system bought by DOH was twice the price procured by the private sector.“You cannot avoid being compared sa procurement price ng private sector. Bakit kapag ang government ang nagpo-procure hindi lang mahal, halos doble pa ‘yung presyo and we are operating on a very limited resources?” he said.During a Senate inquiry earlier this week, Lacson questioned the DOH for purchasing COVID-19 testing machines and swabbing kits for more than twice the price of similar equipment bought by private companies.A private company bought nucleic acid extractors needed to process coronavirus tests for P1.75 million each, while the DOH got the machines for P4 million each, Lacson said.DOH secretary Francisco Duque III, however, said they chose the P4-million equipment because other brands were not compatible with United States-manufactured machines in Philippine laboratories./PNlast_img

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