The Department of Health (DOH) does not accept face shields that did not underwent scrutiny by the agency’s inspection team, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday, Sept. 27.
“Hindi natin tinatanggap ang mga supplies nang hindi ini-inspect ng ating DOH inspection team (We do not accept supplies without being inspected by our DOH inspection team),” Duque said in a public briefing.
The Health chief said this amid the controversies hounding the face shields purchased by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) from the controversial firm Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.
According to Duque, the protective foam padding on the upper portion of medical-grade face shields deteriorates over time, adding that the garter of the said protective equipment also becomes brittle.
“Iyan ang tinatawag natin na shelf life of about 36 months (That’s what we call the shelf life, and that is about 36 months),” Duque said.
He added that the PS-DBM also has its own inspection team for the purchase of medical-related items.
“Hindi sila basta-basta pwedeng tumanggap ng mga suplies na hindi ito sinusuring maigi in terms of quality, quantity, and in accordance with the technical specifications (They cannot simply accept supplies that have not been thoroughly evaluated in terms of quality, quantity, and in accordance with the technical specifications),” Duque said.
“Iyan ang iniutos ng DOH na dapat sundin ng (That’s what the DOH ordered to be followed by the) supplier, otherwise, hindi ito tatanggapin ng DOH (it will not be accepted by the DOH),” he added.
Meanwhile, Duque said he had ordered the re-inspection of the face shields received by the department.
The DOH chief made the statement after an official of Pharmally claimed that the firm tampered with the expiration dates of the face shields it supplied to the government under a 2020 procurement deal.
“Inatasan ko na ang Procurement and Supply Chain Office na bantayan ito at tignan kung meron itong mga ganitong 2021 production date na nakalagay sa mga face shield (I have instructed the Procurement and Supply Chain Office to monitor it and see if it has such 2021 production dates attached to face shields),” he said.
“Aking pinariripaso at pinapa-inspect muli itong mga face shields na ito, at kung totoong merong pandaraya ay kinakailangan bawiin ng gobyerno doon sa kompanyang iyan yung isang taon na kanilang tinamper (I order a review and re-inspection of these face shields, and if it is true that there is fraud, the government will take back from that company the one year they tampered with),” he added.