Occidental Mindoro reveals deficiencies in procurement of drugs, medicine
by Allan Yves Briones
A multitude of deficiencies has reportedly hounded the procurement process of the provincial government of Occidental Mindoro, including insufficient documents, purchase of non-essential medicines and violations of procurement law.
According to the 2018 annual audit report by the Commission on Audit (COA), the provincial government purchased drugs and medicines worth P2 million which were not listed on the Philippine National Formulary (PNF) Essential Medicines List
The PNF, as stated in the report, serves as a tool to ensure the “rational” prescription, disposition and administration of medicines.
However, the requisitioning officer or head of hospitals erroneously certified that 65 kinds of drugs and medicines were within the PNF list, the efficiency, safety and quality of which were not assured.
In addition, state auditors flagged several violations of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9184 or procurement law in nine contracts signed by the provincial government:
- No Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Secretariat certification of posting of Invitation to Bid
- No copies of invitation letters attached to disbursement vouchers (DV)
- No approved budget attached to the contract
- Minutes of the pre-bid conferences were not submitted
- No proof of payment from the Bureau of Internal Revenue
- BAC resolution missing from DVs
- No print-outs of posting of the award notice, notice to proceed, etc. on the PhilGEPS and agency website
Similar deficiencies were noted with the delivery and payment of medical supplies, with three contracts incurring delays of 64 to 189 days, without the imposition of damages.
“The noted deficiencies…were not reflective of the government’s commitment to promote good governance and its effort to adhere to the principles of transparency, efficiency and economy,” COA stated in the report.
COA ordered Occidental Mindoro officials to make the necessary changes in their procurement of drugs and medicines.
In the report, management promised that future procurement shall be in accordance with rules and regulations.