COA asks Oslob LGU to justify P1M purchase of medical supplies from ‘questionable supplier’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the Oslob Municipal Government’s decision to buy P1 million worth of medical supplies from a questionable supplier.
Based on COA’s 2021 Annual Audit Report for Oslob, the municipal government of this southeastern town in Cebu province purchased medical supplies amounting to P1,137,755.
However, state auditors discovered that the winning supplier, identified as MC-Charles Med Trading, lacked the documents and licenses to prove they have the ‘legal, financial, and technical’ capabilities to undertake the procurement.
A copy of the 106-page audit report for Oslob can be accessed on COA’s official website.
COA also pointed out that the local government apparently failed to require MC-Charles Med Trading to submit the documents needed as proof of their business’ legitimacy.
“The eligibility of the above supplier as drug retailer/wholesaler/distributor was not established because its FDA’s LTO (license to operate) was not required by the Management and submitted before effecting payments,” portions of COA’s audit report for Oslob stated.
In addition, the state auditing body said the supplier in question was not included in the list of registered drugstores, drug manufacturers, distributors, and traders on the Food and Drugs Administration’s (FDA) website.
The local government has submitted COA with the LTO of MC-Charles Med Trading. However, the state auditing body told them that it did not bear the signature of the FDA’s approving authority.
As a result, they asked the municipal government of Oslob to furnish them with FDA-certified copies of the supplier’s LTO.
“We recommended that Management (local government of Oslob), through the BAC (Bids and Awards Committee), submit the Audit Team the FDA’s LTO as drug retailer/wholesaler/distributor for the above-mentioned supplier in order to regularize this procurement transaction,” COA said.
When it comes to procuring medical and other health-related supplies, COA said the government should comply with Government Procurement Policy Board Circular No. 01-2020 and the Department of Health Administrative Order No. 2014-0034.
These two provisions were made to ensure that the government will only transact with accredited suppliers and to ‘always ensure the health and welfare of the public’, they added.
“Also, dealing with these eligible suppliers would remove doubts as to whether the Management had contracted with middleman thereby placing reliance as to the negotiation of the most advantageous price for the government,” COA said.
Oslob is a fourth-class municipality located 118 kilometers southeast of Cebu City. /rcg
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