SIX lawmakers filed on Wednesday, July 29, a resolution calling on the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a special audit on loans, donations and expenditures related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.
Senate resolution no. 479 also asks COA to release its findings before Congress holds deliberations on the 2021 budget.
According to the senators, various procurements in relation to Covid-19 have been subjected to allegations of overpricing.
They cited the purchase of automated nucleic acid extractors for P4 million against the P1.75 million purchased by the private sector.
The lawmakers also mentioned the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for P1,800 when the market price only ranges from P400 to P1000.
They also noted the importation of “more expensive” RT-PCR test kits from China and Korea when there are cheaper and locally produced test kits “gathering dust in laboratories.”
They cited a World Health Organization (WHO) situation report saying that the Philippines has already received a P6.5 billion donation for its Covid response, excluding the grants from several entities and organizations.
“Congress is set to deliberate on the 2021 budget, and anticipating that massive allocations will be made to address the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, it is of critical importance that there be audit findings to guide legislators in their exercise of the power of the purse,” the resolution read.
The resolution was signed by Senators Risa Hontiveros, Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Ralph Recto, and Panfilo Lacson. (SunStar Philippines)