The government procured around P550 million worth of expired Covid test kits from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, according to Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
He said the government wasted the people’s money in paying for close to 400,000 Covid-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits that were useless since they expired in only six months. The deal was part of the Pharmally’s supply contract with the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).
“This is like we are burning cash amid the many deaths,” he said during Tuesday’s Senate blue ribbon committee.
The Senate blue ribbon committee has been probing the alleged irregular transfer of at least P42 billion in Covid-19 response fund from the Department of Health (DOH) to the PS-DBM. Pharmally is under fire for being undercapitalized and bagging P11.7 billion worth of medical supplies contracts from the PS-DBM.
Pangilinan said inspection reports showed the test kits had a date of manufacture of April 5, 2020, and an expiry date of Oct. 5, 2020, or six months.
However, he said the PS-DBM’s own technical requirement document required suppliers that all test kits must be fresh stock and must have a shelf life of at least 24 months to 36 months from the date of delivery.