COA flags Moalboal’s P3.8M purchase of medical device 

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | July 14,2022 - 01:58 PM
COA

COA | INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has called the attention of the local government of Moalboal in southwestern Cebu over the purchase of medical equipment worth close to P4 million from a questionable supplier. 

In their 2021 Annual Audit Report for Moalboal, the state auditing body discovered that the municipal government procured medical equipment from a supplier reportedly not included in the list of accredited distributors and sellers of medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

A copy of the 88-page report can be accessed on COA’s official website. 

COA said that local officials and executives bought a fully-automated clinical chemistry analyzer that costs P3.79 million from MJC Medical Supply last September 2021. 

The municipal government of Moalboal was able to furnish a copy of the firm’s License to Operate issued by the FDA upon issuing the check.

However, after conducting further verification, auditors discovered that the supplier has no record or permits from the FDA under the Medical Device Industry. 

“The eligibility of the supplier as medical device retailer/wholesaler/distributor was doubtful since the supplier MJC Medical Supply was not included in the list of registered medical device manufacturer, trader, distributor, and retailer upon verification from the FDA Verification Portal,” COA pointed out.  

“Hence, the technical capability of the supplier could not be relied upon and the negotiation of the most advantageous price may not be achieved,” they added.

Supplier, LGU’s Response

In response, the supplier, through the town’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), assured state auditors they have the documents and permits that qualified them as a supplier of medical devices for the local government.

They added that changes in their business address may have resulted in their non-inclusion in FDA’s online list of accredited distributors of medical equipment. 

As a result, COA instructed the local government to submit a certified true copy of the supplier, authenticated by the FDA or ‘written confirmation from the FDA that such license was indeed issued and valid.’ 

According to the state auditing body, local government units and other government-owned and ran agencies, when purchasing medical supplies and equipment, must comply with provisions stipulated on the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) Circular No. 01-2020, and Administrative Order NO. 2014-0034 of the Department of Health. 

These measures were designed to ensure that suppliers have the ‘technical, legal, and financial capability to undertake government-funded procurements’ as well as ‘to ensure the health and welfare of the public.’

“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,” added COA. 

Moalboal is a fourth-class municipality located 86 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.

/bmjo

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