‘Disheartened’ DOH ready to face any probe on corruption allegations

Published June 29, 2021, 9:30 PM

by Analou de Vera


The Department of Health (DOH) said it is ready for any investigation with regards to alleged corruption within the agency.

In a statement on Tuesday night, June 29, the DOH said it has “always been transparent and cooperative to auditing efforts within the government.”

“While we are disheartened by these baseless accusations from our government officials, we submit ourselves to inquiries from legislators as this is a part of the checks and balances in our government,” said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“I have always been a champion of good governance and the DOH has always been transparent with regard to our fund utilization,” he added.

The DOH also expressed readiness to show the necessary documents on where the “loans for vaccines went.”

“Kung ang tanong ay kung handa kaming ipakita kung saan napunta ang pondo, handang handa po kami (If the question is whether we are ready to show where the funds went, we are very much ready). We submit reports to concerned government agencies and even the Senate,” said Duque.

“Ang utang po natin para sa bakuna ay naipaliwanag na noon ng Department of Finance sa Senate Committee of the Whole hearing — ang inutang na pondo ay diretsong napupunta sa vaccine manufacturer mula sa funding agency (Our debt for the vaccine has already been explained by the Department of Finance to the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing – the funds owed go directly to the vaccine manufacturer from the funding agency),” he added.

The agency also said that it “has to rationally use its funds to continuously implement the Universal Health Care Law” as well as to “ensure unhampered delivery of health services while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide better health outcomes for Filipinos.”

“Hindi pa tapos ang pandemya. Bilang bansa, isa lang dapat ang ating mithiin — at iyan ang i-knock out ang COVID-19 (The pandemic is not over yet. As a nation, we have only one goal—and that is to knock out COVID-19),” said the Health chief.

Senator Manny Pacquiao on June 29 called on the government to investigate the DOH with regards to the purchase of rapid test kits, personal protective equipment, masks, among others.

“Handa ka ba Sec. Francisco Duque na ipakita ang kabuuan ng inyong ginagastos? Saan napunta ang pera na inutang natin para sa pandemya? (Are you ready Sec. Francisco Duque to show the total amount you spend? Where did the money we owed for the pandemic go?),” said Pacquiao in a statement.

On June 28, President Duterte challenged Pacquiao to name government offices or officials allegedly involved in corrupt activities.