COA flags Pampanga for overpriced anti-COVID-19 supplies

The provincial government of Pampanga has been asked to justify its procurement of medicine and medical supplies amounting to 14.14 million pesos in connection with its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its 2020 annual report, the Commission on Audit said the procured items were 5.45 million pesos higher than the price index set by the Department of Health.

The audit body said provincial officials did not negotiate for better prices despite a DOH memorandum reminding government offices to heed the price freeze on essential medicine and medical supplies.

The COA said a purchase order dated April 28, 2020, showed that the provincial government procured 1,000 gallons of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol at 750 pesos per gallon.

The COA said that under a DOH price index dated April 14, 2020, a gallon of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol should cost only 520 pesos.

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