DOH denies Pacquiao's claim agency buying nearly-expired medicine

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2021 04:56 PM

MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday denied Sen. Manny Pacquiao's allegation that the agency has been procuring nearly-expired drugs.

The DOH has been following protocols and specific laws in the procurement of medicine and other health items that have a shelf life, said Health spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

"Ang puwede lang namin tanggapin ay mga gamot na may shelf life na 18-24 months," she said in an online press conference.

(We can only receive medicine with a shelf life of 18-24 months.)

"Kapag may public emergency, ang puwede lang namin tanggapin ay 12 months dahil kailangang-kailangan na," she said.

(If there is a public emergency, we can only accept medicine with a 12 month expiration because we badly need the drug.)

Over the weekend, Pacquiao said the DOH has been procuring nearly-expired medicine "at the regular price, when the price should be much lower."

“Marami pa akong mga hinahanda at sinusuri na mga dokumento tungkol sa korapsyon sa DOH. Ilalantad ko rin po iyan sa takdang panahon,” according to the senator. 

(There are more documents that I am looking into regarding corruption in the DOH. I will make that public when the right time comes.)

The DOH is waiting for documents from Pacquiao's office so that the agency "may respond to these questions that he has," Vergeire said.

"I can say wala kaming nabibiling ganiyang supply ng gamot because we are following the policies of government," she said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said he is "disheartened" over Pacquiao's corruption allegations, noting that the DOH is ready to cooperate with the senator and other investigating bodies that would review their transactions.

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