Coa Audit Report On Dengvaxia Procurement Supports Gordon's Dengvaxia Report
The 2017 audit report of the Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC) submitted by the Commission on Audit (COA) on the procurement of P3.5-billion Dengvaxia Vaccines supported the committee report that Senator Richard J. Gordon filed last month.
In its annual audit report of the PCMC, the COA noted that the hospital's purchase of vaccine in the last few months of the Aquino administration was found to have violated government procurement rules.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said the audit report reinforced the findings and conclusions on the Dengvaxia procurement which found former President Benigno Aquino III, former Health Secretary Janet Garin, former Budget Secretary Butch Abad, and PCMC and DOH officials liable for criminal charges for the dengue immunization program initiated in March 2016 -- barely two months before the 2016 National Elections.
"In 2016, nag-privilege speech ako on the Dengvaxia procurement because sa tingin ko, after studying all the information I got at that time, na minadali ang procurement, hindi pinag-aralang mabuti kaya nalagay sa alanganin ang halos isang milyong batang Pilipino. And now this COA audit report is saying that the said procurement was irregular. It supported our own report," he said.
In its 2017 audit report, COA said the procurement of Dengvaxia vaccine "was not in accordance with the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order No.49, the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Government Procurement Reform Act and the Memorandum of Agreement by and between the Department of Health (DOH) and PCMC. It added that PCMC committed procedural lapses when it procured P3 billion worth of Dengvaxia.
"While I don't mean any ill to anyone, the purpose of the investigation was to find out the truth behind the program which placed the health of more than 830,000 children at risk. We want to seek justice for these children and protect them. What we are doing here is not political. It is precisely to prevent the DOH, which is the sentinel of public health, from being co-opted again and used for political ends. Hindi natin gustong magdiin pero walang kaduda-duda na may kasalanan ang mga taong gumawa niyan dahil nanakit sila ng mga bata ng walang pakundangan. Walang pakundangang itinaya nila ang buhay ng halos isang milyong mga bata," the senator said.
Gordon noted that there were also doubts that he could get 11 members to sign Senate Committee Report 368, which is required for the report to be filed. Fourteen senators signed the report.