'PPEs for P3K each?': Roque tells Drilon to explain purchases of Aquino administration

Published September 1, 2021, 1:52 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

In an attempt to justify the current government’s purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth P1,700 each, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque asked opposition Senator Franklin Drilon to explain the purchase of his allies in the previous administration of PPEs worth at least P3,000 each.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque (left) and Senator Franklin Drilon (File photos)

Roque made the statement amid the Senate hearing on the alleged “overpriced” PPEs purchased by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) last year.

In his press briefing on Wednesday, September 1, Roque presented purchase orders for PPEs by the Department of Health (DOH) under the administration of the late President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III worth at least P3,000 each.

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A purchase order dated September 28, 2015, showed the purchase of 2,500 PPEs worth P3,500 each, and another purchase order for 3,750 PPEs worth P3,864 each dated June 23, 2016, seven days before the Aquino administration stepped down.

Roque reminded Drilon to make sure the opposition has no faults before throwing dirt to the administration.

“Alam niyo po, sabi nila, ‘pag ikaw nagduro, apat na daliri ang nakaturo sa inyo. Ganyan po ang nangyari doon sa ‘di umano overpriced PPE (You know, when you point your finger at someone, the other four are pointed back at you. That’s what happened with the supposed overpriced PPE),” he said.

He added that the opposition senator should explain why his allies in the previous administration made such purchases.

“Senator Drilon, please explain. Bakit ang mga kakampi mo doble ang halaga na binili para sa mga PPE sa panahon na wala pa pong pandemya (Why did your allies buy PPEs worth double the price at a time when there was no pandemic)?” Roque said.

“Meron po talagang kumita, hindi po sa administrasyon na ito (Someone really made a profit here, but it’s not the current administration),” he added.

According to Roque, the government’s emergency procurement of pandemic supplies was consistent with the government procurement act, relevant procurement issuances, and the Bayanihan Act.

He explained that the government still asked for quotes for PPEs from different manufacturers before making the purchase even if the Government Procurement Reform Act allowed negotiated procurement during emergency cases.

“Bagama’t meron nga po niyan, eh nag-proceed pa rin po tayo na humingi tayo ng mga quotes para sa pinakamumurang PPEs. At ang nakita nga po ng PS-DBM ay mga P1,700 ang PPE (Even though we had this provision, we still asked for quotes for the cheapest PPEs and the PS-DBM found the PPEs worth P1,700),” Roque said.

“Overpriced ba raw po ito? Hindi po. Kasi noong mga panahon na ‘yon, biglang ngang lahat ng bansa naghahanap ng PPEs (Are these overprices? No. Because at the time, all countries were in search for PPEs),” he added.

 
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