MANILA— Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Wednesday that he has ordered the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to investigate the procurement of allegedly overpriced sanitary napkins, which was recently flagged by the Commission on Audit.
“Meron na akong direktiba (I already have the directive) to investigate, to require the people involved to immediately answer the complaint as presented sa report ng COA (Commission on Audit),” said Bello who is in home quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
In an interview on TeleRadyo, Bello said he was shocked by the news. COA flagged the agency for buying sanitary napkins, hygiene kits, and thermal scanners from MRCJP Construction and Trading located in Pasay City. However, COA officials did not find the hardware store at its supposed address when they conducted an ocular inspection.
“As soon as my prima facie evidence macha-charge 'yung whoever is responsible and will be placed under preventive suspension,” he said.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac in an earlier interview named the concerned official as Deputy Administrator Faustino Sabares III.
Cacdac said the COA findings are not yet final and that the OWWA official was given time to appeal.
OWWA is an attached agency of the DOLE.