NOTE THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
*Sierra-Bullones by P404,976.00; Garcia-Hernandezby P546,538.00;Duero by P17,771.25; and Guindulman by P15,200.00
It’s not only the Bohol provincial government being flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) for alleged overpricing of prices of medical supplies procured to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that started early of last year.
COA found the towns of Sierra-Bullones Duero, Garcia-Hernandez and Guindulman to have also exceeded their prices of procured medical supplies contrary to theDOH price freeze regulation.
COA said in its post-audit findings that in Sierra-Bullones, “Prices of medical supplies procured to address the C0VID-19 pandemic were found to be overpriced by P404,976.00 or up to 52% above the minimum price set by DOH Memorandum No. 2020-0058 and 2020-044-A dated March 5, 2020, and April 4, 2020, respectively, hence the LGUs intent to maximize procurement at its regulated price was not attained.”
COA has issued an Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) No. 2021-09dated February 11, 2021, to this effect.
One of the items being overpriced is the purchase of 2 boxes of shoe cover costing P2,200/box for P4,400.00, but the DOH price is only P1,050/box, hence the overprice amounted to P2,300.00 or 52.27% increase. The supplier is Sina Medica Pharmaceutical Distributors of said product.
It is also the one who sold to S-Bullones some of the following items: Gloves (large) for 10 boxes at P2,200 (per P.O.) but the DOH regulated price is only P2,100.00 or a difference of P1,000.00; surgical gloves priced atP2,800.00/box. But DOH price is P2,100.00 or a difference of P3,500.00; and 22pieces of goggles @P340 each but DOH price is @P180.00 each, difference isP3,520.00, or 47.06% increase.
Dextel Trading supplied 20 boxes of gloves (medium) priced @P650/box, but DOH price is only P450.00, or a jack-up of P9,000.00, or 30.77% increase; and 500 sets of Protective personal Equipment (PPEs) @P2,300.00 each but DOHprice is pegged @P1,650.0 apiece, total difference is P305,250 or 26.52%; and Sandugopress Marketing & Supplies — 40 gallons of alcohol @P950/gallon but DOHprice is P650.00/gallon, a total difference of 12,000.00, or 31%, COA said.
COA said that Sina Medica Pharmaceutical Distributors had already sent to COA their reply but Dextel and BAC did not.
COA said it demanded the LGU to ask the suppliers to refund the excess amount of prices and require BAC to submit an explanation.
Guindulman town has procured some 100 pieces of N95 masks tagged@P210.00 apiece but DOH price is only P152.00 apiece resulting in an excess ofP58/apiece, or a total of 5,800.00.
LGU Guindulman responded to COA that there were insufficient supplies that prices of which are non-compliant to DOH price freeze order.
COA has recommended for BAC to submit its justification on the overpricing of supplies Guindulman has procured and paid.
For Garcia-Hernandez town, COA had this to say: “Procurement of medical supplies during COVID-19 pandemic were above the suggested retail price by P546,538.00, contrary to DOH Memorandum No. 2020-0250-A, thus LGU’s intent to maximize the fund was not attained.
COA issued AOM No. 2021-001 dated February 17, 2021, to this effect.
The town was supplied by TLC Wellness with the following supplies: 60gallons of Ethyl alcohol priced at P950/gallon but the DOH regulated price is pegged at P650/gallon, hence, the excess is @P300/gallon or a total OF P18,000.00; Bohol Quality’s 115 pieces of PPEs @P2,300.00 apiece, as against DOH price ofP1,200.00 each, an excess of P1,100.00, or a total of P126,000.00; EpilynPharmacy’s 236 pieces of PPEs at P2,200.00 apiece as against DOH price@P1,200.00 apiece, or an excess of P1,000.00, or a total of P236,000.00; J n JPharma Medical Supplies’ 99 pieces of PPEs priced @P2,300.00 apiece, but DOHprice tag is P1,200.00, or an excess of P1,100.00, or a total of P108,900.00, among others.
The management of the town cited the lack of supplies at the time(sometime in April, June and July 2020) of the procurement of the aforesaid supplies.
But COA retorted that at the time of the procurement, prices of the medical supplies “were already stable.”
COA has recommended for the said LGU management to require suppliers to refund the excess of the amount computed based on the DOHmemorandum No. 2020-0250-A.
COA reminded the LGU concerned to be at all times updated and adhere to the rules and regulations on procurement.
Duero town has procured the following: Byro Pharma’s supply of 25 PPEsamounted to P1.600.00 apiece. But DOH price is only pegged @P1,200, or a total excess of P10,000.00; 100 pieces of KN95 face masks at P220.00 each, but DOHprice is P152.00 or an excess of total P6,800.00; Bohol Quality’s 25 gallons of ethyl alcohol @P688.85/gallon,but DOH price is @P650.00, or an excess of P38.85.
The town’s management/administration tried to justify the procurement of alleged overpriced items that they were forced to do because there was a scarcity of said supplies.
COA asked the management to require the \ suppliers to refund the excess amount based on the said DOH memorandum.
All the aforementioned post-audit reports of said towns are all based on each procurement in the year 2020. (with a report from rvo)