DOH: Transfer of P809-million cancer fund to 20 hospitals aboveboard

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2023 06:12 PM

ABS-CBN News/File
The Department of Health office in Manila on April 21, 2014. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The sub-allotment of P809-million worth of cancer assistance fund to 20 hospitals in the country is aboveboard, the Department of Health said on Tuesday.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire made the remark in response to the complaints of grave misconduct, malversation and graft filed against 6 health officials before the Office of the Ombudsman.

"I'm surprised because everything was aboveboard, everything was transparent," she told ANC's "Headstart".

The complainant, Dr. Clarito Cairo Jr., alleged that the sub-allotment of Cancer and Supportive-Palliative Medicines Access Program (CSPMAP) funds to selected access sites was highly disadvantageous to the government and a grave disservice to many enrolled patients.

In his complaint, Cairo said Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center was insufficiently allocated with P16.5 million while the Philippine General Hospital, Rizal Medical Center and the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center were excluded from the list of access sites last year.

The complaint also cited the non-procurement of chemotherapy maintenance medication Imatinib used by patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Vergeire said the decision to transfer the funds to 20 hospitals was approved by the National Integrated Cancer Control Council -- the highest policy-making body for cancer control in the country.

The funds sub-allotted to these specialty centers were also based on their own requests, she added.

The following hospitals received CSPMAP funds, according to the health department. 

  1. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Center - P16.5 million
  2. East Avenue Medical Center - P66.8 million
  3. Philippine Children's Medical Center - P67.9 million
  4. Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center - P32.8 million
  5. Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center - P1.5 million
  6. Region 1 Medical Center - P38.6 million
  7. Cagayan Valley Medical Center - P45.1 million
  8. D'Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center - P5.3 million
  9. Batangas Medical Center - P14.2 million
  10. Bicol Medical Center - P12 million
  11. Bicol Regional Hospital and Medical Center - P84.7 million
  12. Western Visayas Medical Center - P9.7 million
  13. Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital - P62.1 million
  14. Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center - P50 million
  15. Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center - P15 million
  16. Zamboanga City Medical Center - P52.4 million
  17. Northern Mindanao Medical Center - P85.4 million
  18. Southern Philippines Medical Center - P76 million
  19. Davao Regional Medical Center - P27.9 million
  20. Cotabato Regional and Medical Center - P44.8 million

Vergeire also noted that those excluded from receiving CSPMAP funds were provided with cancer medicines and cancer assistance funds.

The DOH has yet to receive the official copies of the complaints.

"The council acted on the best interest for government and also the patients," Vergeire said.

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