President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has ordered the immediate release of badly needed medical equipment and supplies in the fight against Covid-19 that got stuck pending Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
“Na-hostage ‘yung mga rapid tests that we would like to buy,” Duterte said during his public address on Monday with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force, citing that “there’s a rule that we cannot use public funds to buy medical supplies, medicines, without the FDA signal.”
He said the assessment should come from the Department of Health particularly the FDA but “nobody seems would like to act on it in a jiffy.”
In a bid to hasten the procurement process, Duterte said he will take the risk and order the purchase despite not having been issued approval by the FDA as long as the supplies and equipment are US FDA approved.
“I am clearing the way by ordering the purchase tutal walang FDA local.
But what we are trying to buy outside is approved by the FDA United States of America.
The President noted his confidence on products with US FDA approval.
“So in a sense that almost all of what we eat, buy products of all sorts, pagka meron ng FDA approved, there’s a mark sa FDA and galing Amerika, kampante naman tayo niyan.”
Duterte said the Department of Health (DOH) through the local FDA has the task to assess the “PCR testing kits of 900 people. Essential kits and other kits in activation supplies, [PCR] consumables, seven [PCR] machines, 10 automated extracting machine and 10 biomedical freezer additional equipment for subnational and regional testing laboratories.”
He, however, said that he does “not really believe that they would do more testing. Ganun lang ‘yan. And so pagka wala ‘yung assessment galing doon sa baba sa DOH, hindi natin mabili. I’m clearing the way. I will ask Secretary Duque to talk to the people in charge — si Secretary Galvez, and they can proceed to buy it immediately as fast as you can really do the procurement at this time,” he said.