THE Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, December 2, 2022, guaranteed that it will fully cooperate in the planned special audit of the country's coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination program despite the presence of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with vaccine suppliers and manufacturers.
In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are assuring the public that they will not prevent a full audit of the vaccination program, especially since the DOH itself has sought it.
"The DOH is the one that asked for a special audit of the funds we were able to use in procuring these vaccines," said Vergeire.
"Primarily and certainly, the DOH will support and will cooperate in this kind of audit process," she added.
The DOH officer-in-charge said this is because the NDA carries exemptions in its provisions, thus allowing the government to share information.
"The NDA has exemptions, like if it is required by law, auditing or for investigations, we can share," said Vergeire.
She said the DOH legal department is just checking on the NDAs, which documents can be shared and which are not.
"Our legal experts are just discussing this so that we are not going to be in violation of these NDAs," said Vergeire.
The Commission on Audit (COA) earlier said it has yet to conduct the special audit of the Covid-19 vaccine procurement of the DOH.
He said this was due to then health secretary Francisco Duque III refusing to give the documents, citing the presence of the NDAs. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)