By Hannah Torregoza
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Sunday urged the Department of Health (DOH) to still strictly follow the procurement process as they seek ways to contain the COVID-19 crisis.
Drilon made the call as he reminded the DOH that despite a declaration of a national health emergency, the procurement of necessary equipment still has to undergo public bidding.
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“We must strictly adhere to the rules and regulations on procurement during emergency cases,” Drilon said in an interview over GMA News TV.
Drilon made the statement following Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s assumption that a declaration of a national emergency would help ease the procurement of supplies and logistics to handle the acute respiratory disease.
“Wala pong nakalagay sa batas na balewalain yung procurement laws, may bidding pa rin iyan (There’s nothing in the law that says we should do away with procurement process, there must be a bidding),” Drilon stressed.
Drilon said that under Republic Act 11332, or the law which mandates the mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases and health events of public health concern, the DOH is required to merely mobilize offices and other agencies under its watch.
The minority leader said he doesn’t understand why the DOH is eager to ease the procurement process when there is still no known vaccine or cure for the COVID-19.
Drilon said the DOH can tap its present resources to address respiratory ailments such as pneumonia.
“Kasi yung COVID-19, wala pang gamut dito kaya yung sinasabing ease in the procurement process, hindi ko maintindihan. Dapat yung mga gamut sa pneumonia and other respiratory disease nandyan na iyan dapat (There’s no vaccine yet for COVID-19 so I don’t understand why they are raising issues like ease in the procurement process. The DOH should instead be prepared with all the medicines for pneumonia and other respiratory diseases),” Drilon pointed out.
“Ano yung ipo-procure nila rito sa Covid-19 wala pa namang gamut? Kaya hindi ko maintindihan iyang ease of procurement na sinasabi nila (What are they going to procure for COVID-19 when there is still no cure for it? That’s why I don’t understand why they are saying with ease of procurement),” he stressed.
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