Gov’t ‘saved’, not lost to China-made PPEs—DBM

Published September 18, 2020, 5:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) denied the government lost P1 billion from the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs) from a number of foreign suppliers.

In a statement, PS-DBM said yesterday that the government did not lose a single centavo from the acquisition of PPEs, but instead saved some P800 million after they decided to directly buy from foreign manufacturers and accredited distributors

“The savings generated can now be used for additional PPEs and other COVID-19 response items that the DOH [Department of Health] needs to bolster the government’s fight against the pandemic,” PS-DBM said.

In response to Senator Risa Hontiveros’ overpricing allegation, PS-DBM explained that the contracts for PPE sets were awarded to seven Chinese contractors from April to May because “there were no local supplier that could comply” with the DOH requirements.

PS-DBM noted that the DOH specifically required 8-piece PPE suit budgeted at P2,000 per set, consisting of gloves, medical grade cover-all, N95 face mask, head cover, shoe cover, goggles, surgical mask, and surgical gown),

Based on the PS-DBM data, PhilPharma, the sole local bidder of the 8-piece PPE set during the initial procurement, submitted an offer that was declared “non-compliant” to the DOH requirements.

“The reasons being: price offer was P2,873.00, 30.39 percent higher than the allocated budget; and PhilPharma’s onhand stocks were inadequate, therefore unable to deliver on time,” PS-DBM said.

On the other hand, PS-DBM said the price bids received from the China-based suppliers averaged at P1,773.51, ​or 38.27 percent cheaper than the offer of PhilPharma, and 11.32 percent lower than the allowable budget.

“It is for this reason that the PS-DBM deemed it only proper and beneficial for the Philippine government to award the urgently-needed PPEs to foreign suppliers,” the agency said.

PS-DBM added that it also letters last September 16 to Hontiveros and to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) requesting them to name local suppliers who can offer at a lower price the same 8-piece PPE set for the period April 1 to May 15, 2020.

  “As of date no response was received from the Office of Senator Hontiveros and PGH,” PS-DBM said.