DOH backs audit of Covid-19 vax deals

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

December 2, 2022, 6:06 pm

<p>DOH officer in charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire <em>(File photo)</em></p>

DOH officer in charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) said Friday it supports the conduct of a special audit of loans granted by lending firms for the procurement of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid)-19 vaccines.

In a media forum, DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire disclosed they have requested the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a special audit of the procurement deals for Covid-19 jabs.

"We will support and cooperate with this audit process," she said. "We just need to ensure that we won't violate the signed non-disclosure agreement".

Earlier, COA chairperson Gamaliel Cordoba said they might issue a notice of disallowance on the Covid-19 jabs procurement if the DOH keeps related documents confidential.

He added that the state audit body is not bound by non-disclosure agreements, according to its legal office.

COA defines disallowance as disapproval in the audit of a transaction in whole or in part.

In a previous budget deliberation in the Senate, Senator Chiz Escudero also requested a detailed audit of the government's Covid-19 jabs procurement. (PNA)