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