TRANSPORT GROUP'S OFFICIAL CONFIRMS GHOST DELIVERIES OF MEDICINES AT OLONGAPO HOSPITAL
OLONGAPO CITY) An official of a transportation group in Olongapo City confirmed the medicine anomaly at the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital, a public hospital in the said city which was earlier reported by the Commission on Audit.
Emily Rosales, one of the transport group's officials, revealed that when one of her relatives was confined at the JLGMH, she bought medicines from pharmacies outside the hospital but the patient was still billed for the said medicines.
"Nagulat po kami kasi binili ko yung mga gamot sa botika sa labas ng ospital tapos nung nakita namin yung hospital bill, kasama sa pinapabayad sa amin yung mga gamot. Buti na lang naitago kung yung resibo nung bumili ako sa Mercury Drug kaya hindi nila naipilit na ipabayad sa 'min," she said during a public consultation with Senator Richard J. Gordon.
Since 2014, the Commission on Audit has repeatedly called the attention of Olongapo City and JLGMH officials on irregularities and anomalies on the purchase of drugs and medical supplies, with over P207-million purchases of drugs and medical supplies from 2014 to 2016 highly irregular. The COA said the City Government failed to take action on its recommendations every year.
Based on the report, for 2014, COA tagged P84.04-million of purchases of drugs as irregular. This ballooned to P93.92 million in 2015 and continued with P30-million purchases of questionable purchases in 2016.
"The above mentioned deficiencies casted doubts on the legality, propriety and validity of the disbursements. It also manifest inadequate internal control over the process/approval of the transactions. The intents and purposes of a competitive bidding nor the alternative modes of procurement were not realized because it prevented the attainment of the best possible price advantage to the government obtained only thru open competition. It also manifested inadequate internal control over the process/approval of the transactions," COA said in the report.
One of their findings, the COA report also said, is that Purchase requests, Purchase orders and Sales invoices were issued on the same day. Even worse, in many instances Sales invoices were issued prior to Purchase requests. This means that the drugs were purchased not in accordance to proper bidding procedures.
"The weakness noted in audit in almost all phases of the procurement created a cloud of doubt on the validity of the purchases made. Incomplete documentation including undated delivery receipts, inspection and acceptance reports," the audit agency further noted.
The COA saw a possible collusion of bidders in the procurement of drugs because while there were seven bidders, there was really no element of competition since none of them submitted bids for the same items for the 42 items for bid. As a result, all participating bidders were awarded a share from the bidded contract through submission of incomplete bids or failed bid results.