COA lauds VMMC's 'relentless efforts' in fight against COVID-19

Published June 6, 2021, 5:23 PM

by Ben Rosario

The Commission on Audit has commended the Veterans Memorial Medical Center for being “relentless in its efforts” in the country’s fight against the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The VMMC is among the few government instrumentalities and agencies that received commendation from COA that has demonstrated stringent audit examination of public funds released to finance various anti-COVID-19 programs.

The VMMC’s anti-COVID-19 medical programs and operations were financed by cash donations totaling P97,765,550 and re-aligned allocation of P83,557,292.80.

“The Center, as Health Institution, was relentless in its efforts to hep the nation’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic. These include performance of testing and confinement of COVID-19 patients,” the state audit agency noted in its 2020 annual audit report for VMMC.

The audit report was submitted recently to VMMC Director Dominador M. Chiong Jr. by COA Director Michael R. Bacani.

Auditors pointed out that there was a high utilization rate of funds received last year by VMMC from the national government, donations and VMMC regular funds.

Examined records showed that VMMC received P1,650,550.00 in donations from “various individuals” for the purchase of “protection for frontliners and medical equipment for COVID-19”. The funds were fully utilized.

The Department of Health transferred P13.275-million for the purchase of various medical equipment but only 56 percent was expended, so far.

The VMMC received P82,840,000 from the Veterans Federation of the Philippines and was able to purchase medical equipment and an ambulance that used 94 percent of the donation.

For swift response to the COVID-19 crisis, VMMC re-aligned P83.55 million in funds.

“We commended the Management for their active participation in the fight/ response against COVID-19 pandemic,” said COA.

The audit agency added: “Henceforth, ensure rigorous infection control standards and processes within the hospital to protect all people behind the operation of the Center, especially the health care workers.” The VMMC management said the favorable audit observation “will boost the morale of the Center’s health care workers.” “This hospital is continuously doing its best to ensure rigorous infection control standards and processes within the hospital to protect all the people behind the operations of the Center, most especially the health care workers,” the VMMC assured state auditors.