May 22, 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte wants an investigation over the alleged overpriced medical products to combat coronavirus disease that the government purchased, Malacañang said on Friday.
In a radio interview, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte was "bothered" about the huge discrepancy on the prices as shown by the purchases made by government agencies, such as the Department of Health, as against those of the private sector.
"Similar to the public's view, we cannot understand why the discrepancy was such that big," he said.
In the case of test kits for COVID-19, Roque cited the reports that the private sector was able to buy it for P1.75 million compared to government's P4 million.
Senator Panfilo Lacson Jr has accused the Department of Health of buying equipment against COVID-19 at higher prices.
He cited the nucleic extraction machines for testing COVID-19, which the DOH bought from an American manufacturer for P4 million while the private sector managed to acquire similar machines from a Chinese firm for about P1.75 million.
Lacson also questioned the amount of swabbing kit and the PPEs that the DOH acquired as they are much higher compared with that of the private groups. Celerina Monte/DMS
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