Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) assured that the quality of all personal protective equipment (PPE), including face shields, has undergone inspection before these are delivered to the country's healthcare workers.

The statement came after an executive of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, one of the suppliers able to bag a government deal for the PPE procurement, confirmed that the company tampered with the "expiration date" or shelf life of its face shields.

"Kailangan lang nating i-validate talaga if these deliveries ay talagang nagkaroon ng ganitong kakulangan (We need to validate if these deliveries had these deficiencies," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Laging Handa briefing on Saturday.

"As far as DOH is concerned, whatever we were able to deliver to all of our healthcare workers ay maayos po, hindi rin kami tumatanggap ng may mga sira or may discoloration or nasira na 'yong foam, hindi namin 'yan tinatanggap (are in good condition, we don't accept face shields that are damaged or one with discoloration or damaged foam, we reject those). We do inspections also," she added.

Vergeire noted that medical-grade face shields do have a certain shelf life, particularly the foam it uses for cushion, but one that is beyond the expiration date is not necessarily dangerous to the user.

Even so, she said it is important to make sure that medical supplies for healthcare workers are of high quality.

"Kailangan siyempre kumpleto at maayos ang maibigay sa kanilang mga gamit para sila ay protektado sa sakit (Of course we need to make sure that what we provide to our health care workers are in good condition to protect them well)," she said.

Krizle Mago of Pharmally, in a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Friday, revealed that the medical supplier changed the expiration dates of face shields procured for health workers.

“With regards to the changing of the stickers of the items, my response would be this was a supply concern. I raised this concern to our management and that was the solution that was given to us,“ she said. (PNA)