MANILA - The government lost nearly P5 million in its first transaction with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp for the procurement of face masks, senators said Tuesday after discovering that the firm sourced some half a million pieces of the protective gear from a middle man.
The face masks Pharmally delivered to the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (PS-DBM) was from Tigerphil Marketing, which got the items from Greentrends Trading.
Tigerphil earned P2.95 million from the deal with Pharmally, while the latter's profit from its first transaction with the PS-DBM amounts to P1.91 million, senators learned from receipts and documents shown during the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing.
"Dapat talaga hindi pinayagan yan (Pharmally). Unqualified talaga siya kasi wala naman siyang gamit," committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said.
(Pharmally should not have won the bid. They are really unqualified because they have no items.)
Sen. Francis Pangilinan also questioned why the PS-DBM used the suggested retail price in computing for the cost of pandemic supplies when the government is buying in bulk.
"Shouldn't you have... negotiated for a lower price because you are buying wholesale, not retail?" Pangilinan said.
"Intrinsically, overpriced agad. Ang presyo retail, hindi wholesale (They based it on the retail price, not wholesale)," he said.
Senators earlier said that the PS-DBM may have favored Pharmally either due to its alleged ties with former Presidential Economic Adviser Michael Yang or because several officials may have been profiting from kickbacks.
The Senate issued a subpoena to get more documents from Pharmally.
The Blue Ribbon investigation is expected to resume on Friday, Sept. 24.