President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered officials to keep tabs on the Department of Health's (DOH's) procurements amid allegations of overpricing, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Saturday.
The senator cited Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque who reportedly revealed that the President was troubled over the matter.
"Nabahala nga ang Presidente at sabi sa kanya, bantayan niyo ang procurement ng DOH," Lacson said in a radio interview.
The senator on Thursday said that there was an "overpricing" pattern with the DOH's purchases when compared to purchases made by the private sector amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"Nag-procure sila ng sariling PPEs, ang bili nila P1,079. Nang check namin sa DOH, ang bili nila P1,979 so doble na naman. Bakit ganoon? May pattern.”
Lacson also said that the Senate was disappointed with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III's performance, a month after several senators filed a resolution calling for his immediate resignation due to "inefficiency."
"Honestly lalo kaming nadismaya, lalo kaming na-disappoint. Parang walang effort man lang. Ang tawag doon, hubris," Lacson said, days after Duque's "second wave" blunder.
The President earlier decided that Duque would stay as the DOH chief.
"Kasi di siya tinanggal, maski anong panawagan ninyo, maski anong palpak ko, mahal ako ng Pangulo, hindi ako tatanggalin. Di ba tawag doon hubris? Sobrang self-confidence, apektado ang efficiency mo," the senator said.
"Regardless na kung incompetent ako, matuyo kayo lahat diyan, pero hindi niya naiisip ilan sa kababayan natin ang maapektuhan. Huwag na sarili niya, huwag na relasyon niya sa Pangulo, ilan ang napapahamak," he added. — DVM, GMA News