Irregularities in DOH project worth P8.1 billion uncovered

Image from Philippine Primer
  • Irregularities in the implementation of the DOH barangay health station project was uncovered
  • The contract for the P8.1-billion project was signed by former health secretary Janette Garin
  • DOH Sec. Duque requested the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct a probe and COA to conduct a fraud audit

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III asked the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation on the P8.1-billion barangay health station project of the DOH under former health secretary Janette Garin.

Sec. Duque also requested the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a fraud audit” on the alleged anomalous implementation of the project.

According to Inquirer, Duque wrote letters to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and COA Chair Michael Aguinaldo, requesting that a fact-finding investigation and a fraud audit be conducted on the project of the DOH that aimed to build 5,700 health stations in public elementary schools nationwide.

The project was designed to promote greater public access to primary care.

Duque said the multi-billion contract for the project was signed by Garin. The project was awarded to a contractor even if the sites were not yet identified.

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin (Image captuire of video by ANC)

The irregularities were uncovered when J. Bros Construction, the contractor of the project, sent a termination of contract for Phase 1 of the project and billed the DOH P2.9 billion for 429 health stations.

Only 270 barangay health stations were reportedly completed and of the 270, only 8 units have supporting documents.

“I am dismayed and in disbelief over the volume of irregular transactions happening at the department. Heads will roll…big names, small names, past and present. There will be no sacred cows,” Duque said during a press conference on Monday, june 18.

Undersecretary Roger Tong-an, who heads the task force created by Sec. Duque to look into the mess, said the payment to the contractor should be withheld.