Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday asked former Department of Budget and Management-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) chief Christopher Lloyd Lao to justify the “high demand” claim on face shields when the Philippines was the only country requiring its use among its constituents.
At a Senate hearing, Lacson recalled Lao’s media statements, claiming that the overpricing on face shields was due to the global demand.
“Ang issue in-attribute mo yung high prices nung face shields saka face masks dahil mataas ang demand and mababa ang supply,” he said.
“How could you justify high demand when the Philippines is the only country in the world that mandates the use of face shields among its citizens? And we’re talking of international market hindi ba? Kasi imported yung mga face shields e. So how could you attribute to high demand yung face shields?” he asked.
Lao explained that there was a demand as face shields are not locally-manufactured in the country.
“There was no manufacturer in the Philippines and there were no history that face shields are made in the Philippines except the ones that were being procured by the [Department of Health, I think, 2019 and backwards until 2015,” he said.
According to the former DBM official, they have procured almost one million pieces of face shields.
“There’s no such high demand because sabi ko nga tayo lang ang gumagamit ng face shields,” Lacson told Lao.
Senators have been grilling the DBM-PS and the Department of Health over the transfer of P42 billion to the procuring agency.
They are also interrogating the DBM and DOH officials over the procurement of overpriced face shields and face masks as flagged by the Commission on Audit.—LDF, GMA News