COA flags overpriced medical supplies, equipment

·2 min read

THE Commission on Audit (COA) found out that the Mandaue City Government procured medical supplies and equipment that were overpriced by a total of P2.26 million.

State auditors have sought a written explanation for the overpricing of the procured items by a range of 33.33 percent to 757.14 percent.

For each of the 2,000 pieces of nasal cannula for adults, Mandaue City paid P80, which was 33.33 percent higher than the Department of Health (DOH) price of P60. The City paid an excess amount of P40,000.

Another 2,000 pieces of cannula for infants were overpriced by P54,000 as these were purchased also at P80 per unit, about 50 percent more expensive than the DOH price of P53.

Mandaue City also purchased 1,000 goggles with a unit price of P250, but the established maximum price was only P150. The excess amounted to P100,000.

A thousand pieces of shoe covers were purchased at P90, or 747.14 percent higher than the DOH price of P10.50, or an excess of P79,500.

The City also procured 150 pieces of thermal scanner for a unit price of P12,500, which was more than 267 percent higher than the P3,400 set by DOH. The excess amount was P1.365 million.

A pulse oximeter should cost only P1,000, but the City paid P1,500, or an excess of P150,000 for 300 pieces.

The city purchased 2,000 bottles of 250ml of rubbing alcohol with a unit price of P70 compared to the established maximum price of P41.75, or an excess amounting to P56,500.

A total of 2,000 pieces of N95 mask were procured at P200 each, instead of the DOH price of P105, for an excess of P190,000.

In addition, the City paid an excess of P225,000 for the purchase of 1,000 pieces of disposable gowns at P300 each when this should have cost only P75.

The DOH prices were based on Memorandum No. 2020-0131, which was issued on March 23, 2020, to set the maximum price of medical supplies that are deemed as basic necessities during the pandemic.

In response, Mandaue City said the memorandum applied only to individuals and organizations outside the government.

Mandaue City pointed out that the circular was addressed to the offices or officers under the Office of the President and does not apply to the local government units (LGUs), which are only subject to the general supervision by the national government.

In its rejoinder, COA said the Office of the President issued Memorandum Circular No. 77 on March 17, 2020, directing all concerned government agencies, offices, and instrumentalities as well as LGUs to implement and ensure compliance with the DOH memorandum.

The items were procured using the Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities (BGCM), Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund and 20 percent Development Fund. (KFD)

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