Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation’s ability to corner multi-billion transactions with the government despite incomplete documents and a paid-up capital of only P625,000 speaks of the Department of Budget and Management’s procurement service (DBM-PS) gross negligence and or complicity, Senator Risa Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros said this was apparent following the testimony of Pharmally’s incorporator Krizle Mago, who admitted that the company lacked a delivery or purchase order, the primary document needed to complete an P8-billion worth of procurement deal with the DBM-PS, during the Senate blue ribbon committee’s hearing on the alleged overpriced COVID-19 supplies.
“They failed to comply with a delivery order which is the primary document needed. That’s the first paper that would prove that the correct processes for the procurement of face masks, face shields and other COVID-19 pandemic supplies were followed,” Hontiveros pointed out.
“But from the first step, the process was not followed. And the DBM-PS officials themselves admitted that they were forced to fake the inspection reports that is needed to release the checks. It only speaks of DBM-PS’s gross negligence or complicity,” she said.
Hontiveros pointed out the government was able to fast-track transactions with Pharmally yet could not even release the healthcare workers much-needed Special Risk Allowances (SRA).
“These lapses in checks and balances may have also contributed to many of our HCWs contracting COVID-19 because of substandard PPEs,” the senator lamented.
She also noted that Pharmally seems to have gotten the deal only through referrals of former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang, who failed to appear in the Senate hearing due to supposed hypertension.
“DBM-PS made it difficult for our local suppliers, while these Chinese suppliers and Michael Yang only need to talk it out with their connections in government,” she pointed out.
“He should appear in our next hearing. His testimony is crucial to our hope to piece together the big puzzle that is the relationship between Pharmally and PS-DBM,” she stressed.
“Similarly, his colleague, Rose Nono Lin, should be present. Na-subpoena na siya (She was already subpoenaed). She has no excuse to skip an important national investigation,” Hontiveros said.
“After every hearing, I do sense that we are getting closer to the truth. The Senate will not stop until the truth is out,” the lawmaker reiterated.
At the sixth hearing of the blue ribbon panel on Monday, senators grilled Pharmally why it was able to deliver the supplies immediately when it was only asked by the DBM for a request for quotation (RFQ) in March 25, 2020.
Sen. Richard Gordon, the committee chairman said this can be a clear indication that Pharmally was indeed a favored company.
While Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the matter could be a “ghost delivery” as it is unusual for the items to be delivered in the absence of a delivery or purchase order.