Wednesday, June 26, 2024

NILAGLAG! Duque Kinorner Si Digong Sa Lipat Budget Noong Pandemya

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NILAGLAG! Duque Kinorner Si Digong Sa Lipat Budget Noong Pandemya

585

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Ibinuking ni dating Health Secretary Francisco Duque III na si former President Rodrigo Duterte ang nag-utos tungkol sa P47.6-billion fund transfer ng Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) kaugnay ng pagbili ng COVID-19 supplies para sa bansa.

Sa nakaraang hearing ng House Committee on Appropriations, umamin si Duque na sumunod lamang siya sa plano ng dating pangulo para na rin maging tugon sa dumaraming kaso ng COVID-19 noong 2020.

Aniya, naipaliwanag na ito ni Duterte noon dahil nabanggit niya na ang fund transfer ng PS-DBM sa isa sa kanyang mga weekly meetings o “Talk to the People” kung tawagin nila.

“Oho [oo], in his public pronouncements, the transfer was done because of the public health emergency, which he declared sometime in March [2020],” paglilinaw ni Duque.

Dagdag pa niya, kahit hindi inutos ng dating pangulo ang fund transfer ay hindi pa rin dapat siya kasuhan ukol dito dahil sakop ng kanyang responsibilidad bilang health secretary na mag-apruba ng naturang funding para sa ikabubuti ng kalusugan ng mga Pilipino.

“Given the severity of the public health emergency, we and the IATF deemed it best to rely on the expertise of the PS-DBM and its work of suppliers for sourcing of the much-needed PPEs along with other essential goods and services for emergency response. We would not have stood a fighting chance without the first tranches of PPEs which was a lifeline for our health workers.”

Depensa ni Duque, ginagawa lamang nila ang kanilang trabaho upang masugpo ang pagdami ng virus noong nakaraang pandemic.

“Our overriding consideration was to prevent, if not mitigate, the risk of our health care workers waiting for local suppliers whom we knew had no capacity, initially, to supply large volumes of PPEs [personal protective equipment] and other COVID-19 supplies needed.”

Matatandaang isa si Duque sa mga kinasuhan ng graft charges ukol sa kaduda-dudang funds ng health sector noong pandemic ngunit nagkaroon pa rin ng shortage ang COVID-19 supplies.

Nabanggit din sa nagdaang hearing na nagkaroon ng malaking utang ang bansa dahil sa pandemic response ngunit marami pa rin ang naging problema sa health sector.

“Considering the P51 conversion rate, that’s tantamount to P1,719,180,000, but because the conversion rate has increased, instead of P112.7 billion naging P129.3 billion na siya. Ganun po kalaki ang utang natin pero marami pa rin ang namatay, maraming health care workers ang hindi nababayaran, maraming ospital ang hindi nare-reimburse at hindi rin natin ma-account kung ‘yong mga binili ba natin ay talagang nagamit,” giit ni Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin.

Photo credit: Philippine News Agency official website

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