The Commission on Audit (COA) found “deficiencies” in the Department of Health’s (DOH) management of some P67.323 billion worth of public funds to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deficiency was revealed in COA’s 2020 audit report made public on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.

“These deficiencies contributed to the challenges encountered and missed opportunities by the DOH during the time of state of calamity/national emergency, and casted doubts on the regularity of related transactions,” the report stated.

Some P1.225 billion worth of equipment were found to be “undelivered, unutilized, and/or without calibration and preventive maintenance.”

Infrastructure projects amounting to some P2.832 billion were either “idle, unutilized or with substantial delay in implementation” inevitably exposing them to the “risks of deterioration, loss, lapse of warranty period and wastage of government funds.”

Some P95.675 million worth of drugs, medicines, and other types of inventories were found to be “nearly expired and/or have expired due to deficient procurement planning, poor distribution and monitoring systems, and identified weakness in internal controls.”

“This recurring problem of the DOH has resulted to indiscriminate wastage of government funds and resources, and impedes the attainment of DOH’s mission of leading the country in the development of a productive, resilient, equitable and people centered health system,” the report stated. Ariane Mae Bautista