COA flags DOH over P185M worth of COVID-19 items not properly distributed


State auditors have flagged the Department of Health over the millions worth of COVID-19-related items that were not properly distributed to their intended recipients.

In a 2021 audit report released on August 15, the Commission on Audit (COA) said items amounting to at least P185,602,876 were either not received by the intended recipients, not received at all, or insufficient or excessive.

According to COA, P166.2 million worth of items were delivered to agencies other than the intended recipients, P18.5 million were not received by intended recipients, and P835,402 showed discrepancies between the quantities indicated and the actual quantities received.

The state auditors said this indicated “inefficiency in the distribution system of said government assets exposing them to risks of loss, misuse, or wastage.”

The items were purchased by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) using the funds transferred by the DOH. The deliveries were made by the PS-DBM through third-party logistics.

Wrong deliveries

COA said the items worth P166.2 million were supposed to be delivered to the Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development (CHD), the Southern Isabela Medical Center, and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium COVID site.

However, items totaling P54 million were received by the Office of the Civil Defense while P108.6 million were received by individuals whose offices or agencies could not be identified.

The agency also said that 150,000 masks amounting to P3.4 million were delivered to the Caraga CHD instead of the Northern Mindanao CHD.

Non-receipt of items


Meanwhile, state auditors said six agencies indicated in the PTRs confirmed that they did not receive the COVID-19 items totaling P18.5 million.

These were the Northern Mindanao CHD, the Dr. Jose Rizal Memorial Hospital, Margosatubig Regional Hospital, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Education, and the Maria Lourdes Maternity Hospital.

Quantities delivered

The Metro Manila CHD and the Caraga CHD, meanwhile, disclosed discrepancies between the quantities indicated in the distribution list and the actual quantities delivered that were either less or more.

COA said that to validate the deliveries, 163 confirmation letters were sent to the auditors of various CHDs, organizational units, local government units, and other hospitals or agencies. It said that 67 replied.

Due to this, COA recommended to the Health Secretary to provide documentary proof that the COVID-19-related supplies and equipment were delivered by the PS-DBM to the identified recipients.

It also called on the DOH to establish an effective distribution system, which should have clear policies and procedures to ensure that all items are delivered timely and completely to the intended recipients.

GMA News Online has reached out to the DOH Viber group for comment but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time.—AOL, GMA News